• Product Type: Insurance
  • Sector: Finance Oriented
  • Project Country: Zambia



Pula is an insurance and technology company with a radically different approach: Pula targets people who have never bought insurance before, starting with smallholder farmers. The company develops, and distributes insurance products and tailored agronomy advice that protects these farmers from risk and grows their incomes.

Project Description

Pula’s approach of bundling agricultural inputs with insurance and agronomic advisory is a potentially commercially viable product to cover the risks of smallholder farmers, while also increasing their ability to improve their yields. This project plans to massively scale up this approach to 591,000 smallholder farmers across Zambia and Malawi by 2021, 705,000 by 2023.
The approach is built on three key innovations:

  1. yield insurance and measurement combining remote-sensing data with farm-level yield measurements by Pula’s field staff;
  2. building a technology-enabled rural distribution system through training and managing village-level agro dealers to act as agents for the product bundle;
  3. driving agronomic behavior change through digital advisory messages sent directly to smallholder farmers.

Key Innovations

This project is innovative in four aspects:

  • Technological: using technology such as remote-sensing data, drones, etc. to refine the yield insurance products as well as increase the cost efficiency of the business model.
  • Client acquisition: integration of insurance with agricultural inputs, i.e. a “pull product” that farmers actively demand and purchase through technology enabled and incentivised rural trusted agro-dealers, thus overcoming challenges of distribution and client acquisition.
  • Adaptive learning: rather than pushing SMS agronomy, advisory based on farmer needs, focus on behaviour changes through adaptive learning and provides location and farmer specific climate and agronomic circumstances.
  • Business process: yield index insurance; i.e. departure from weather index and indemnity based insurance, enhanced through technology.