Insurers target maize farmers to grow premiums

Insurance companies Wednesday announced a partnership with the Kenyan government to launch a smallholder farmers’ cover.

Wednesday March 9 2016

Hellen Yego, a large scale farmer, and her workers harvest maize at Moiben in Uasin Gishu County on October 15, 2015.  Bayer East Africa, a farm chemical manufacturer, have come up with two products they believe can control the stubborn Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA

Hellen Yego and her workers harvest maize at Moiben in Uasin Gishu County on October 15, 2015. Insurance companies Wednesday announced a partnership with the Kenyan government to launch a smallholder farmers’ cover providing protection against poor maize yields. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA 

By JAMES KARIUKI
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Insurance companies Wednesday announced a partnership with the Kenyan government to launch a smallholder farmers’ cover providing protection against poor maize yields.

A statement from Jubilee Insurance said Amaco, CIC, Heritage, APA, Kenya Orient and UAP will jointly offer The Area Yield Index Insurance which will compensate farmers against farm losses blamed on adverse climatic conditions, diseases and damage by pests.

The government has also promised to provide a 50 per cent subsidy on insurance premiums for a five acre piece of land per farmer.

To qualify for the payment, farmers reporting yields of below 80 per cent of the expected harvest during the policy period will benefit.

Jubilee which has a regional presence in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Mauritius has since started offering the product in Nakuru, Embu and Bungoma counties.

For farmers in Embu, they will be required to annual premiums of between Sh 280 to Sh 700,Bungoma Sh 350 to 500 and Nakuru Sh 500 to Sh 1,500 per acre.

Jubilee Insurance chief executive officer Patrick Tumbo expressed optimism on performance of the product saying agriculture contributes upto 24 per cent of Kenya’s economy.

The product’s effectiveness is dependent on the farmers’ payment of their share of the premium and will be based on their harvest history from the identified farm.

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