Blue Marble

Blue Marble partners with Asia Insurance and Reap Agro to launch index-based crop insurance solution in Pakistan

LONDON, UK – August 16, 2021 – Blue Marble, an insurtech delivering affordable insurance protection programs to benefit low-income families and small businesses in emerging markets, today announced that it has launched a first of its kind weather index insurance pilot program for smallholder farmers in rural Pakistan. The pilot program, which will cover 500 farmers, is organized in partnership with Asia Insurance, a local insurer, and Reap Agro, a Pakistan-based microfinance organization that specializes in lending to smallholder farmers.

“Farmers in Pakistan are among the populations most vulnerable to climate change but lack access to affordable crop insurance to protect against severe weather events,” said Tughral Ali, Head of Asia Pacific for Blue Marble. “We are proud to launch this pilot program in collaboration with our partners in order to create a sophisticated but cost-effective safety net for farmers and their families.”

Using Blue Marble’s proprietary AgSuite platform, the program will provide tailored, parametric insurance coverage against excessive rainfall, droughts and other natural disasters. Payouts are automatically triggered to policyholders based on a pre-defined index that measures the magnitude of the event, providing impacted farmers with quick access to vital funds in their time of need while avoiding costly claims assessments.

Asia Insurance will serve as the underwriters for the program and will work directly with Reap Agro to enroll eligible customers. Reap Agro will act as input lenders and off-takers, partnering with farmers to advise them on best practices throughout the season.

“Developing cutting edge agriculture insurance products is a key focus area for Asia Insurance. We see weather index insurance as a superior solution for addressing farmers’ needs while also providing better coverage to agri lenders than is presently available in the market,” said Zain ul-Haq Qureshi, CEO of Asia Insurance. “We are extremely excited to develop this together with like-minded partners in Reap Agro and Blue Marble.”

“All of us at Reap Agro are very excited to launch a weather index insurance product for smallholder farmers. Severe weather can wipe out farmers’ crop, placing them and their families under extreme financial stress. The traditional agri insurance products require heavy documentation with long processing and payout times. The quick payout associated with weather index insurance will revolutionize the agri insurance landscape in the country and provide real protection to farmers,” said Ehtisham Ali, CEO of Reap Agro. “We are excited to work with forward looking partners in Asia Insurance and Blue Marble who have farmers’ interests at heart.”

Research has found that the effects of climate change have a disproportionate impact on developing nations. However, to date a number of barriers have prevented insurers from rolling out better

protection in emerging markets. These include a lack of access to products and services, a lack of affordable solutions, low awareness among local populations and inadequate products.

According to the Global Climate Risk Index, Pakistan ranked fifth among nations most susceptible to climate change, with nearly 10,000 lives lost and economic damages worth $3.8 billion incurred between 1998 and 2018. In Pakistan, smallholder farmers comprise 60% of the country’s 8.2 million farmers and until the pilot program have not had access to parametric insurance. As a result, they often fall prey to loan sharks and become entrapped in a perpetual cycle of debt and poverty.

About Blue Marble

Blue Marble works with local insurance companies to deliver affordable insurance protection programs to benefit low-income families and small businesses in emerging markets. Leveraging its proven, proprietary technology, Blue Marble fills the protection gap for populations most vulnerable to the devastating impact of weather and health related catastrophes by delivering tailored, affordable insurance solutions in a modular structure to meet the needs of its partners and customers.

Blue Marble is owned by a consortium of multinational insurance entities – including Aspen Insurance, Grupo ASSA, Marsh McLennan, TransRe and Zurich Insurance – and builds partnerships with agribusinesses, local insurers and brokers, banks and microfinance institutions, mobile operators and digital sellers, U.N. and development agencies, cooperatives and affinity groups.

Blue Marble is the brand name for Blue Marble Micro Limited and its operating subsidiaries.

About Reap Agro

Reap Agro operates a contract farming model in the Swabi and Mardan districts of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. Reap Agro fulfills the agricultural credit requirements of smallholder farmers by providing key agricultural inputs (fertilizer, seeds, pesticide) in kind, as interest free loans.

Reap Agro’s field agents ensure that the farmers follow the best agricultural practices. The farmers are also connected to Reap Agro’s sister company, BaKhabar Kissan, and can access their complete range of services.

As part of the arrangement with farmers, the purchase price of produce is agreed upon in advance. However, farmers are free to sell to entities offering a better price than Reap Agro. Reap Agro’s back-to- back contracts for produce sales with large corporate food processors ensure that farmers get a fair price for their produce.

Currently, Reap Agro focuses on the potato and maize value chains working with over 2,000 farmers. The farmers working with Reap Agro have seen their net income increase by up to 30%.

Reap Agro is in the process of expanding its operations to additional districts and value chains.

About Asia Insurance

Asia Insurance is a publicly listed general insurer in Pakistan, with a focus on innovation in insurance product development and deployment. Among Asia Insurance’s shareholders is the Insuresilience Investment Fund, under whose guidance is developing leading agriculture insurance products that

address the effects of climate change manifesting across Pakistan, particularly with an aim to increase

access to financing for the most vulnerable of Pakistan’s population.

In addition to agri insurance, Asia Insurance offers a range of corporate and individual insurance products across all classes of non-life coverage, including motor, health, travel, fire, marine, engineering and miscellaneous categories.

Media Contacts Blue Marble

Matthew Glasser matthew.glasser@fgh.com

+1-646-805-2000

Reap Agro

Ehtisham Ali ehtisham.ali@reapagro.com

+92-345-100-9450

Asia Insurance

Urooj Jawed urooj.jawed@asiainsurance.com.pk

+92-323-2266638

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