The move by the government to introduce both crop and livestock insurance schemes to cushion farmers and livestock keepers against adverse weather conditions mainly in areas where these agricultural practices are dominant is laudable as this will be a major boost to farmers and will enable them to confidently invest more into the practices.
The president revealed this during the official opening of this year’s Agricultural Society of Kenya Nairobi International Trade Fair at the Jamhuri Park Showground.
He said that the crop insurance scheme is being tested in Bungoma, Nakuru, and Embu counties while Animal insurance is being piloted Turkana, Wajir, Marsabit, Isiolo and Tana River at a cost of Ksh152 million adding that the government intends to spread this schemes to every county in the country.
This year, for instance, due to a prolonged dry spell, maize wilted before maturity at a time when many farmers were waiting for rain, and this caused farmers to experience partial or total loss in the productive, grain season which runs from May to September. This has been attributed to the effects of El-Nino season which started late last year, to early this year leading to delays in planting and sowing.
This has greatly demoralized farmers and has scared them from investing much into their maize crops. So this insurance scheme will come in handy and more farmers will be willing to invest more when it comes to planting and not just maize but other food crops too.
Farmers will also be able to benefit from the decrease in the cost of fertilizers once the two fertilizer plants which were set up in Eldoret and Nakuru, with a capacity of 500,000 tones are fully operational.
Farmers and livestock keepers can now invest fully in their activities, without any worries about the availability of insurance schemes which will offer them security against vagaries of weather.