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Kiunjuri asks farmers to take up crop insurance cover


Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri has asked farmers to take advantage of insurance schemes to cushion them against losses in the wake of climate change.

Prolonged drought and floods have led to crop failure and dwindling productivity, taking a toll on the country’s agricultural sector.

Speaking during the Central Region Agricultural show in Nyeri, Mr Kiunjuri decried the slow uptake of insurance schemes available for livestock and crops farmers.

He told farmers their livestock and crops will be insured against infestation of fall army worm and erratic weather conditions that have continued to threaten food security in the country.

“Farmers should embrace the insurance schemes so that they can be compensated in case of early cessation of rains or infestation of pests and diseases,” he said.

For instance, production in the coffee sector has gone down by about 40 percent due to excessive cold weather that aids the infestation of coffee berry disease and leaf rust.

The minister’ caution came after exhibitors at the show lost entire crops to unseasonal hailstorms in the days leading to the event, bringing closer home the reality of erratic weather caused by climate change.

Another solution, farmers were told, is to shift away from rain fed agriculture to irrigation.

Nyeri county government said it would facilitate the transition from rain-fed agriculture to irrigation, having allocated Sh228 million to the programme in the current fiscal year.

“The plan so far covers 2,600 hectares against a potential of 20,620 hectares,” said Nyeri governor Mutahi Kahiga.