Plugin & Sumunnati, Agricultural Insurance Extended through Climate Variables

  • The collaboration uses up-to-date climate data to provide knowledge to farmers.
  • Plugin data will educate villagers and guide them in agricultural activities

Plugin (PLI) and Sumunnati have teamed up to increase the reach of the crop insurance radar for small farmers as well. The collaboration implements weather intelligence operating on the blockchain platform. In parallel, the above partnership is expected to open up a variety of advanced tech-oriented services for the agricultural sector.

Today, it cannot be denied that agriculture plays an important role in promoting wealth around the world. However, particular difficulties continue to affect the productivity of the sector, trapping many smallholders who depend on agriculture in uncertainty and leading to below-average returns. Changes in weather patterns, unexpected production cycles, a lack of practical knowledge of the weather and insufficient mechanisms designed to compensate for negative impacts throughout the agricultural supply chain are just some of the specific challenges facing agriculture today.

To show how accurate farm-level decision-making is hampered by the lack of actionable weather intelligence. In particular, it impacts the many day-to-day decisions that farmers and the supply chain make, all of which depend on accurate forecasts for success. As an illustration, applying fertilizer without using operational weather intelligence can result in fertilizer being applied just before rain storms. As a result, fertilizer may need to be re-applied, increasing the farmer’s production costs.

Although there are many different issues, the development of new blockchain-powered technologies offers chances to turn the tide, unlock agricultural wealth, create jobs and promote prosperity.

Plugin-Samunnati Partnership: Weather Intelligence and Crop Insurance

Plugin & Samunnati recently partnered to unlock synergies in weather intelligence through Plugin’s Weather Forecast Node (WFN) project. Through this partnership, Plugin & Samunnati will expand their expertise in implementing the Plugin WFN project in the smallholder landscape. Aggregated weather data will be integrated into the Plugin data lake within the XDC ecosystem, helping to drive weather intelligence activities.

What is Plugin’s WFN and how does it converge with crop insurance? Well, Plugin’s WFN uses data collected and processed through registered weather stations/hyperlocal sensors located around the world. The data collected from these nodes is collected and processed at near real-time speeds and sent to the Plugin data lake. (Note: there is potential to significantly scale data lakes by creating more hyperlocal sensors around the world.)

Thanks to application user interfaces (UIs) that are decentralized, weather data comes tagged with latitude and longitude coordinates. This helps to provide cryptographic proof when the data is uploaded to the Plugin blockchain, allowing anyone to verify its origin when developing smart contracts. Once weather data is recorded on the PLI blockchain, its provenance information cannot be altered.

What’s more, additional filters are available that help drill down the weather data collected by PLI to a granular level—i.e. one can browse weather data by searching for information about a specific country, state or city.

To ensure the quality of recorded weather data, PLI performs periodic checks at the registered weather station. In addition, Plugin WFN data providers are compensated for providing accurate and applicable weather information. This helps optimize the data, making it useful for decision making in various industries.

To understand in more detail, let’s take the case of crop insurance claims processing and how WFN can help. As climate change brings weather uncertainty – some extreme – there is a need for real-time weather data to help validate and verify crop insurance claims. With near-real-time data, crop insurance providers can check to see if specific weather conditions have been experienced causing certain problems. Once the data is established, crop insurers can process payouts to affected farmers, ensuring agricultural continuity. Other areas where crop insurance – supported by WFN – can cover agricultural logistics, commodity market hedging, aviation and government-related policy formulation.

However, what else does the collaboration between Plugin and Samunnati cover?

The partnership also included an analysis of the availability of crop insurance among smallholder farmers and how these challenges can be addressed during unforeseen and weather-related disasters. Some weather events considered include unexpected rain, flooding, extensive drought, and more.

In addition, Plugin has also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Samunnati, which will see Samunnati included as a master node operator in Plugin’s decentralized oracle network. Consultations are currently underway to support businesses and guidance will be given to community members within a few weeks.

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