The Kenyan government, in partnership with financial institutions, has launched a crop and livestock insurance scheme in a bid to cushion farmers against the adverse impact of climate change.

The programme, which will be carried out initially in Nakuru, Bungoma and Embu counties, is expected to create a safety net for more than 180,000 crop and livestock farmers to encourage them to invest in their farms, raise productivity and reduce the risks which financial institutions face when lending to agriculture.

Environment Cabinet Secretary (Minister) Judi Wakhungu said here Monday that the scheme would be rolled out at a cost of 56 million shillings (about 555,000 US dollars) and would be modeled on the livestock, wheat and maize crops, with the aim of cushioning farmers against losses as a result of climate change.

The second phase of the project, which would target Wajir, Isiolo Marsabit, Mandera and Tana River counties, would benefit an additional 54,000 farming households, she added.

Under the deal, the Ministry of Agriculture will provide subsidized drought-resistant seeds and fertilizer to the selected farmers. The scheme would later be extended to Meru, Kitui, Narok, Homa Bay and Laikipia counties, bringing the total area of crops under insurance to 300,000 hectares by the year 2019.

Meanwhile, farmers in Muranga County have adopted the use of biogas in their homes which has significantly reduced their daily expenses. The National Biogas Installation programme has seen more than 13,000 households adopting the renewable energy.

Kangari zone in Kigumo in Muranga County leads with more than 100 biogas plants constructed in the area, at a cost of between 90,000 shillings and 150,000 shillings each.

Source: KBC