A partnership among Oxfam in Sri Lanka, Etherisc, and Aon is aiming to support Sri Lankan farmers access more affordable insurance policies using blockchain technology. The organizations announced the concept at the first “Blockchain for Social Good” event, which CoinDesk held on Oct. 23, 2018, in London.

Let’s learn more about these organizations, as well as how they plan to join forces to benefit a group in need.

Who Are Oxfam, Etherisc, and Aon?

Oxfam in Sri Lanka is an organization that works to address the underlying causes of poverty in the country and develop practical solutions that will last over the long term. They want to see people in Sri Lanka prosper in peace and dignity with the opportunity to build bright futures. Oxfam has also been known to assist in lifesaving measures during disaster situations.

Etherisc develops techniques for improving the functionality of decentralized insurance apps. The company is known for its blockchain-based approach to enhancing customer satisfaction and efficiency within the insurance industry.

The third member of the team, Aon, is a global professional services firm. Using advanced data and analytics, Aon seeks to improve performance and reduce volatility for its clients.

How Will This Partnership Help Sri Lankan Farmers?

We often define “microinsurance” as affordable policies with reasonable coverage for people with meager incomes. Most attempts at this program have failed, typically due to issues such as operational and distribution costs. Taking advantage of blockchain technology by tapping into the existing network of distribution channels at Oxfam could be the solution to these roadblocks, and these three organizations are working to find that out for sure.

By using blockchain technology to boost the efficiency and transparency of this microinsurance program, these organizations hope to provide affordable coverage to thousands of Sri Lankan smallholder paddy field farmers.

With insurers speeding up their claims, even people with average incomes in economically advanced nations can struggle to find coverage. For low-income farmers in Sri Lanka, the conditions are even more challenging. Ideally, payouts will automatically occur for situations like inclement weather conditions, natural disasters, or other uncontrollable scenarios. This automation would speed up and simplify the claims process for farmers — indeed, it would ultimately eliminate it.

The use of automation on the blockchain is the portion of the proposed program that will mostly benefit small-scale farmers in Sri Lanka. On a larger scale, these organizations also hope to incorporate aspects of blockchain technology, such as its transparency features, to improve the country’s agriculture industry as a whole.

Along with supporting the Sri Lankan paddy rice farmers, the program allows players in the food production business to join the movement and do what they can to play a role in improving efficiency and bettering the lives of the country’s smaller farmers.

Working Together to Help Others

The organizations still have to discuss and agree upon all the official payment triggers, and external data providers would have to monitor those scenarios, as well. There is also a fourth member of the partnership, who members of the other three organizations have described as one of the largest insurance brokers in the world. Unfortunately, they can’t yet reveal the name of this company.

Once these parties have defined the exact terms of this program and figured out the logistics, low-income paddy rice farmers will hopefully have a more affordable, easy-to-understand insurance option, which will ultimately help them run better businesses and invigorate their local economy and the economic wellbeing of those living there.

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About Author

Kate Harveston covers social justice and human rights issues. She graduated with a Bachelors in English and minored in Criminal Justice, so she enjoys writing about anything related to the intersections of law, politics and culture. For more of her writing, you can visit her blog, Only Slightly Biased.

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