Portfolio Learning

How gender impacts agricultural insurance decision making in emerging markets

Pula, which provides accessible, scalable insurance solutions for smallholder farmers by bundling insurance with the inputs farmers already use including seeds and fertiliser, has produced a new learning report exploring how gender plays a role in registration decisions in East and Southern Africa.

The report, co-funded by Shell Foundation and the UK government, uses Pula’s data on farmers in Kenya, Malawi and Zambia to spotlight factors that influence insurance registrations decisions and suggests recommendations to bridge these gaps.

Factors influencing gender gaps in registration
  • Fewer female farmers than male farmers have smartphones, which limits digital interventions that can be used to engage them
  • Female farmers use and value agronomy education less than male farmers. This difference is significant, especially amongst farmers in Kenya
Demographics of farmers registered for insurance
  • More female than male farmers are comfortable purchasing more inputs because of insurance
  • Registered female farmers tend to have smaller farms than registered male farmers
  • Significantly more registered male farmers are in farmer associations than registered female farmers
Factors influencing gender gaps in yield
  • Female farmers typically have lower yields than male farmers
  • Female farmers tend to use more seed per acre than male farmers, but less fertiliser per acre and less crop protection chemicals


Pula then used the data insights to produce a set of key recommendations aimed to:

  • Increase awareness of insurance
  • Educate farmers on farm inputs and best practices
  • Bundle insurance with specific products that are of interest to female farmers

Download the full report (pdf, 1mb)