The government of Kenya has invested Sh2 billion in Kenya Agricultural Insurance and Risk Management programme to cushion farmers against crop failure.
According to Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett, the government has compensated farmers to a tune of Sh500 million. In a speech read on his behalf by the Principal Secretary in charge of Co-operatives Ali Ishmael, he said that, during the current long rains, Sh70 million has been set aside.
“The fund will cover 20,000 farmers in 10 counties with a projection of 20 counties by the end of 2018 and 30 counties by the end of 2020.” Bett said. He added that, at least Sh2 billion has been earmarked as insurance subsidy due to the unpredictable crop failure.
Meanwhile, the Cooperatives PS waded into the unfolding maize importation drama attributing the looming shortage of staple food to largely an act of nature. He called on Kenyans to be patient as government steps up effort to bring down the prices.
The PS was speaking at Egerton University Nakuru County on Tuesday during the official opening of the national Agriculture Value Chain Forum.
To support various programmes that promote value chain development Bett said at least 248,800 metric tonnes of fertilizer worth Sh14billion has been distributed to farmers through the National Cereals and Produce Board in the current financial year.
To step up mechanisation in the country, the CS announced that the government was collaborating with the governments of Brazil, India and South Korea for cheap farm machinery. – Bernard Gitau