By Marion Wagaki, Rootooba, 28 August 2020
Kenya’s agriculture faces a wide range of risks that undermine its performance leading to low earnings and the vulnerability of many farmers.
The Government has identified agriculture insurance as part of a broader risk management framework and as a key strategy to de-risk agriculture. To this effect, Ministry of agriculture, livestock, fisheries and cooperatives Cabinet Secretary (CS) Peter Munya said that during the 2019 long rains season, 409,000 farmers in 27 Counties were insured at a total risk value of Kshs.2 billion. Of these, 25,228 farmers experienced crop loses and have claims amounting to Kshs.117, 483, 315.
“This brings to a total of 37,500 farmers who have benefitted from crop loss compensation to the tune of Kshs.217 million since the crop insurance program begun in 2016,” explained Munya.
“The Ministry with support from partners in the insurance sector developed the crops and livestock insurance programs to support farmers access agriculture insurance,” he said, adding that the comprehensive Crop Insurance Program (CIP) covers various crop enterprises, including maize, pulses, irish potatoes, sorghum, cowpeas and green grams.
Munya explained that the Government through the State Department of Crops Development, funds 50 percent of the insurance premiums for farmers with farm sizes ranging from half an acre to 20 acres, with the farmers expected to pay 50 percent of the remaining premium costs. Farmers who wish to insure over 20 acres are expected to pay the full premium.
The program has been rolled out to 33 of the targeted food-producing counties and will be progressively rolled out to cover other crops such as wheat, rice, cashew nuts and horticultural crops.
APA insurance CEO Ashok Shah said that they are supporting the government’s agenda on food security through the creation of an enabling environment and ensuring sustainable natural resources management. Shah noted that agricultural finance and insurance are strategically important for achieving the mission of eradicating poverty and ensuring shared prosperity.
He added that in the past farmers carried a great burden occasioned by crop failure, climate change, pests and diseases, many of which can addressed through joint efforts with the private sector. APA insurance leads a consortium of six Kenyan insurers including UAP, CIC, AMACO, Jubilee, Kenya Orient and Geminia, to offer the insurance cover to farmers.
The efforts are meant to contribute towards a long-term transformation of farming from subsistence to commercial agriculture.