By Edna Mwende
The crop insurance project under the Ministry of Agriculture has paid a total Ksh100 million to at least 12,000 farmers for maize crop failure last season.
The insurance project was launched in 2015 involves farmers insuring crops based on projected harvest with premiums calculated on production output in each region besides other risk factors. According to a news report by Business Daily, farmers pay 50 percent of the premium charges with State taking care of the balance. Consequently, pays a premium between Ksh2,800 and Ksh400 depending on acreage.
“At the time of inception in 2015 we started with 900 farmers but currently we have registered 425,000 farmers in agriculture-rich counties,” said Head of crop insurance at the Agriculture ministry Jacinta Ngwiri as quoted by the Business Daily.
She went on to say that the paid farmers are from 20 counties with Meru, Uasin Gishu, Bungoma, Kilifi, Nakuru and Narok counties registering the highest population of farmers.
The insurance companies participating in the project as detailed in the news report include CIC, Amaco, Jubilee, UAP Old Mutual, Kenya Orient and APA Insurance, while the money is channeled through KCB and Equity banks.
According to Martin Munene, a Director in the County Agriculture department as reported by the local daily, 1,121 farmers from Imenti North and Tigania West sub-counties will be paid Sh9.4 million, which is double last season’s payout, signaling growth of the programme.
He added, the project will be rolled out to Imenti Central, Buuri, Tigania Central Igembe Central and Igembe North, where farmers have been paid more than Ksh1 million in premiums.
Business Daily additionally reported that the cover is at the moment targeting beans, green grams and maize but will dive into Irish potatoes as from October and in future cover cash crops.
This comes shortly after Treasury read the 2019/20 budget which confirmed the allocation of Ksh300 million for subsidized crop insurance being executed in conjunction with 27 counties.