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Editorials

EDITORIAL: Expand crop insurance programme for farmers

A failed maize crop in Turkana
A failed maize crop in Turkana in the past: An insurance plan is being tested to achieve food security. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Revelations that some 12,000 farmers were paid Sh100 million for maize crop failure last season is clear proof that the government’s insurance project holds great potential.

In its quest to increase the country’s food security, the government has been promoting the insurance scheme so as to protect the farmers from losses especially those caused by the vagaries of nature.

Under the subsidised insurance scheme, the government pays half the premium ranging between Sh2,800 and Sh4,000 depending on the acreage.

The scheme started in 2015 with about 900 farmers and currently has 425,000 farmers registered in the agriculture rich counties.

Farmers who received the payouts were from 20 counties that included Meru, Uasin Gishu, Bungoma, Kilifi, Nakuru and Narok.

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We aver that the scheme has the capacity to boost farming in the country by ensuring that farmers are protected against losses.

The late onset of rains this year is a very clear example as farmers across the country suffered losses through crop losses despite spending on inputs. The government should sit down with the insurance companies that are participating in the project and find ways of rolling out the scheme in other parts of the country.

It is good to note that the programme will be rolled out in Imenti Central, Buuri, Tigania Central, Igembe Central and Igembe North.

The government is also on the right trach by expanding the insurance cover from the popular maize staple, beans , green grams to Irish potatoes in October.

By scaling up the insurance cover, the government will be in good position to grow the country’s food security.

Farmers will have added impetus when going about their day to day roles as they will be conscious of the fact that any rain failure or crop destruction will not render them destitute as there will be a fallback plan.

That is the only way Kenya can be able to reinvigorate the agricultural sector by providing our farmers with programmes that promote sustenance and drive production in the segment.

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