Kenya-Agriculture: Farmers in Kitale Take Out Insurance Against Excess Rains

Afrique en Ligne (Mar. 18, 2011) | Agriculture-Kenya – While most parts of the country are staring at a drought because of expected poor rains, farmers in Kitale are worried of too much rain. Residents still remember how excess rains destroyed their harvests last year. “It was a total loss for me,” says Rebecca Bowen, a 53-year-old agricultural officer and a maize farmer. The meteorological department last week confirmed that while rains would be depressed across the country, Western Kenya and Rift Valley highlands may still receive above normal rains. Now farmers in Kitale and neighbouring areas are turning to crop insurance so that they do not lose everything. In case of extreme weather, they will be compensated for their investments in seed, fertiliser and other inputs. “I will never experience total loss come rain or drought,” says Bowen. Her family is among those enrolling for the insurance programme called Kilimo Salama Plus.