PlanetScope image of Turkana County, Kenya taken August 18, 2022. © 2022, Planet Labs PBC. All Rights Reserved.
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ZEP-RE and Planet Collaborate on Drought Insurance Program in Africa


Today, we announced an exciting new contract with ZEP-RE, a reinsurance company based in Nairobi, Kenya who will leverage our Basemaps products to enhance drought risk protection in the Horn of Africa (HOA)!

ZEP-RE aims to utilize PlanetScope 3-5 meter resolution imagery through our analysis-ready, Surface Reflectance Basemaps products. Using pre-processed, Basemaps, we will deliver Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) time series data to measure vegetation health for an area of more than 600,000 km2 of Eastern Africa. The reinsurance company will also be utilizing our data as their independent calculation agent to quantify conditions and provide metrics to measure drought. With this data they will further develop their drought index program and scale their risk calculation capabilities.

With Planet data, ZEP-RE aims to expand the insurance program to support  over 250,000 pastoralists in the HOA. In the process, they seek to generate a drought index that can be customized to locations to determine payout amounts, generate premium rates, and enable faster claims. 

“At Planet, we are excited to be contributing data to support the livelihoods of pastoral farmers in Africa with ZEP-RE. We believe our data is a powerful and unique source of information for agricultural index insurance, and that it can bring value to vulnerable communities in their daily lives,” said Kevin Weil, President of Product & Business at Planet.

Along the grasslands of sub-Saharan Africa, drought is a persistent threat to economies and livelihoods. ZEP-RE is the implementing agent of a regional project, DRIVE, intending to enhance pastoralists’ access to financial services for drought risk mitigation, include them in the value chains, and facilitate the livestock trade. ZEP-RE will be leveraging our satellite data products to execute the risk protection product to support business continuity and expand its critical work in the region. DRIVE is a World Bank funded project in partnership with the governments of the four participating countries in the HOA; Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia.  

“We are thrilled to begin using Planet’s satellite data for the HOA DRIVE Index-Based Livestock Insurance product. With the reliability and quality of the Planet data we can normalize the stream with our existing data and transition smoothly to continue our business model into the future,” said Ronald Kasapatu, Director of Agriculture & Micro Insurance at ZEP-RE. 

For us, this first-of-its-kind application demonstrates the innovative use of our Surface Reflectance Basemaps and Professional Services to provide NDVI data that powers products for drought insurance. Showcasing our evolving insurance offerings, this program highlights how our technology could be replicated with additional customers in the field. 

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