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Government urges Murang’a maize farmers to insure their crop

Murang’a  County  Government  has urged maize farmers in the county to insure their crop in the Kenya Agricultural Insurance Programme.

The  programme  is r unning in Maragwa and Gatanga constituencies whose farmers are predominantly maize growers.

The  County  Director of  Agriculture, Nelson Muraguri, told Kenya News Agency (KNA) that the insurance programme is designed  to address the challenges that maize producers face whenever there are large production shocks such as drought and floods.

Muraguri  said that the programme which was introduced in the county in 2017 targets to register all maize farmers at every  onset of the rainy season.

The  Agricultural extension officers  will facilitate the registration of farmers at the grassroots. A farmer is supposed to pay half of the insurance premium fee while the government subsidises the other half.

For  example, Muraguri said that sum assured per acre of maize was Sh.10, 395 with a rounded premium of Sh. 1,240 of which the farmer pays Sh. 620 while the government pays the other Sh. 620.

He  said that the programme is a public private partnership with the government of Kenya and insurance companies such as  Jubilee Insurance, UAP Company, Syngenta Company and CIC insurance.

Under  the programme farmers are divided up into insurance units. If average production in one of the units falls below the threshold, all insured farmers in the unit receive a payout.

The  programme that is being implemented in 27 counties enables better financial protection for vulnerable farmers and  also reduces the government’s need to provide financial support following natural disasters.

The agricultural officer said that crop insurance is in line with one of the Big Four Agenda which is food security.

He  added that the program was a necessary intervention by the government to improve farmers’ financial resilience and ability to adopt improved production process to help break the poverty cycle.

By  Hildah Muchahi/Judith Thuo

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