At least 13,000 farmers in Kenya’s coastal region have benefited from crop insurance payout under the government-sponsored Kenya Cereal Enhancement Program Climate Resilient Agriculture Livelihoods (KCEP-CRAL).
The crop insurance compensation payment is made to farmers whose crops have been damaged by drought, pest diseases and other natural calamities. Farmers in Kwale, Kilifi and Taita Taveta counties are subscribed to the E-Voucher Digital scheme scaled up in August 2020 by the national government under the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries .
The voucher allows farmers to purchase pre-prepared input packages of seeds, equipment and consumables from selected vendors. Speaking at the disbursement in Kwale County, the State Department’s principal secretary for agricultural research, Professor Hamadi Boga, said the program had transformed the agricultural sector from subsistence farming to business. agri-food.
“The government has an agricultural sector transformation program and this program will change the status quo. Climate change threatens our productivity and this program helps farmers mitigate and overcome losses,” the SP said.
Professor Boga said the government is committed to ensuring food security for the coastal counties and the country as a whole through partnerships with different stakeholders across the world. The program is funded by the Swedish Development Agency (SIDA), through the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the European Union (EU) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development ( IFAD). The KECP CRAL aims to reduce rural poverty and food insecurity among smallholder farmers in arid and semi-arid areas.
“Most of the coastal region is experiencing severe drought and such a program can offer a lasting solution to such agricultural setbacks,” Professor Boga noted.
Kwale County has 2,900 beneficiaries with a payout of Sh13.9 million, Kilifi County has 7,000 beneficiaries with a payout of Sh56 million and Taita Taveta County has 1,400 beneficiaries with a payout of 14, Shs. 9 million. The program is currently implemented in the western, eastern and coastal regions of the country.
Kwale County Director for Agriculture and Livestock, Joanne Nyamasyo, said the program will boost agricultural standards in the county which have been devastated by the drought. The agriculture executive revealed that the county government will provide support to farmers whose crops have been affected by drought and who are not members of the KCEP-CRAL scheme.
“Climate change is wreaking havoc on our agricultural sector and the crop insurance scheme is a breakthrough,” Nyamsio said.