Kenya Insurance Plans Seek to Shield Farmers From Flood, Drought

Kenya’s government is introducing agricultural insurance programs that seek to help farmers deal with shocks caused by droughts and floods, the World Bank said.

Farmers of corn and wheat will be protected by a system that divides crop areas into units, with those insured receiving a payout if average production falls below a threshold, the Washington-based lender, which helped develop the plans, said in an e-mailed statement. The government will also buy drought insurance from private companies on behalf of pastoralists whose livestock are vulnerable to downturns, it said.

The program will help Kenya’s government reduce the “financial burden of natural disasters,” according to the World Bank. The East African country’s administration estimates it spent an average of more than 7 billion shillings ($69 million) a year on disaster relief between 2005 and 2011, the lender said.

The program begins in Bungoma, Embu and Nakuru this month, with plans to reach 33 counties by 2020.

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