Chainlink Awards Grant to Support the Joint Venture Between ACRE Africa and Etherisc

The Chainlink Community Grant Program provides financial resources to the many development teams and researchers building a more functional and accessible Chainlink Network. We encourage talented individual developers and development teams to apply to the grant program here, or if you are a researcher and want to collaborate, contact us.

We are glad to announce that a collaboration formed between Etherisc and ACRE Africa, an agricultural microinsurance provider for smallholder farmers across East Africa, has been selected for support by the Chainlink Community Grant Program. The Chainlink grant will aid their joint effort towards building a decentralized insurance protocol able to deliver sustainable, blockchain-based parametric crop insurance solutions that help protect up to 250,000 smallholder farmers in Kenya against the effects of climate change over the next three years. The initiative aims to increase accessibility to reliable and affordable crop insurance policies, with a goal of allowing insurance premiums to be paid by farmers in small installments as low as 50 cents.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, only 3% of smallholder farmers use agricultural insurance coverage to protect their families’ livelihoods against climate change. Some of the main drivers leading to poor insurance coverage include: high costs by traditional insurance providers, unreliable or absent payouts, and a lack of transparency when it comes to the data used to determine claims. This lack of trust in traditional crop insurance coverage results in no protection for a vast majority of African farmers; one bad growing season can financially devastate them.

ACRE Africa is working with Etherisc to bring more fair, accessible, and economically viable insurance products to East African farmers. Their solution is Ethereum-based parametric smart contracts that execute policy payouts based directly on data indexed to local weather parameters. This data is sourced and delivered by a Chainlink-powered decentralized oracle network, ensuring a secure end-to-end framework for hosting, executing, settling insurance policies automatically based on reliable data feeds.

Smart contract-based parametric insurance offers several key benefits to smallholder farmers:

  • Cost reduction – A study conducted by Etherisc and the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance found that the use of Ethersic’s smart contract technology can reduce the costs required to issue a policy by up to 41%.
  • Timely payouts – The decentralized nature of Etherisc and Chainlink bring tamperproof execution and data delivery to insurance policies, resulting in users being able to trust that they will get paid on time based on accurate data feeds.
  • Process transparency – Etherisc and Chainlink are both open-source technology solutions wherein the insurance contract’s logic and data trigger are viewable on the blockchain by all stakeholders, leading to transparency and independent verification of all outcomes.

Given the critical need for crop insurance in developing countries where the local insurance market isn’t developed enough to reliably enforce policies, ACRE Africa’s work with Etherisc makes for a strong proposition to receive a Chainlink Community Grant. Funding such initiatives gives us the opportunity to further build towards a standard template that can be applied globally to the crop insurance industry. It also allows us to obtain valuable data on how to use externally connected smart contracts in insurance as a means of improving the lives of people around the world.

The grant will go toward funding several aspects of the project:

  • Technical Support – developing the smart contracts, building a user-friendly front-end for farmers to interact with, integrating with local payment systems, and various other technical developments.
  • Research – studying the economics of crop insurance across several African regions, such as policy costs, payment processes, weather patterns, local soil and plant biology, and several other externalities that play a role in creating a sustainable economic model for both buyers and suppliers.

“We’re excited to be able to further our work with farmers in East Africa by receiving support through the Chainlink Community grant to help build out and implement a more reliable and cost-effective model for crop insurance with the collaboration of Etherisc,” said George Kuria, CEO of ACRE Africa. “Solving long standing problems involves building new innovative solutions, and were excited to work with Etherisc and Chainlink to leverage the power of blockchain technology to enable farmers across Kenya to protect themselves against the harmful effects of climate change, allowing them to make a sustainable living over a long period of time despite external disturbances.

“We’re thrilled to be awarded a Chainlink Community grant to aid in our development of next-generation insurance infrastructure that provides third-world farmers with access to new insurance products for hedging against climate change risks,” stated Michiel Berende, Chief Inclusive Officer of Etherisc. “The Chainlink Community Grant will allow Etherisc to build out its technical solution, conduct the necessary research needed to provide it in an economically sustainable manner, and properly connect all the relevant parties together. With Chainlink’s support, we can bring insurance coverage to over 250,000 farmers in East Africa, greatly improving both the lives of individual farmers and African countries as a whole.”

Through the Chainlink Community Grants program, we look forward to continuing to empower more and more Chainlink ecosystem teams who are building key tools and infrastructure that accelerate the development of universally connected smart contracts and secure oracle node infrastructure. We will continue supporting the community as a key driver of Chainlnk’s rapid growth, because only together can we make universally connected smart contracts into the dominant form of digital agreement.

If you want to learn more about the Grant Program, check out our recent blog post that further expands upon its goals and the criteria for submission. If you would like to participate in the Chainlink Grant Program, please apply here. Chainlink Community Grants are provided in Cash and/or LINK.

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