NAIROBI, June 13 (Xinhua) -- Kenya said on Monday it plans to roll out an insurance subsidy program targeting small scale farmers to tackle the negative effects of climate change.
John Mwaniki, Director of Agribusiness with agriculture ministry, told Xinhua in Nairobi that currently a pilot project is underway in three of the country's 47 counties.
"We are going to roll out the subsidy in phases so that eventually all small scale farmers are covered," Mwaniki said during a media briefing on the upcoming seminar on Commodity Price Risk Management.
The ministry of agriculture said that most of Kenya's food is produced by small scale farmers. "So we need to cushion the small farmers as the country's food security depends on them," Mwaniki said.
He added that climate change has resulted in unpredictable rainfall patterns.
"As a result farmers plant crops but rains fail to come leading to crop failure," the director said.
Under the subsidy program, the government will pay 50 percent of the premium while the farmers will pay the rest.
Mwaniki said that the insurance cover will compensate farmers who fail to harvest as a result of drought or floods.
In the order to make the subsidy sustainable, the program aims to assist Kenya to make a transition from subsistence farming to commercial farming. Farmers will be encouraged to commercialize their operations so that they are able to afford the insurance on their own.