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Kenya - More crop insurance to cover small farms from climate change risks

Kenya’s agriculture ministry has opened bids for crop insurance providers to cover more smallholder farmers from the risks and shocks of climate change, under a government program.

Companies have until March 16 to submit bids for the subsidized crop insurance initiative that seeks to increase the amount of counties covered to 37 from 33, according to the statement. Sub-Saharan Africa’s third-biggest economy has 47 regional units.

Agriculture is the largest employer in Kenya, comprising a third of gross domestic product while farm exports are the biggest foreign-exchange earner.

The program is “part of a broader risk management framework that has been adopted by the government of Kenya as a key strategy to derisk the agriculture sector with focus on the small-holder farmers,” according to the statement.

The country is very vulnerable to climate change with “projections suggesting that its temperature will rise up to 2.5 degrees Celsius between 2000 and 2050, while rainfall will become more intense and less predictable,” United Nations’s ReliefWeb said on its website. Even a modest rise in the frequency of droughts will prove a major challenge for food security and water availability, it said.

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