By Christine Muchira
Maize farmers in areas prone to unpredictable weather from Central, Nyanza, Eastern, Upper Coast, lower Western regions of Kenya are registering for a crop re-planting insurance cover that guarantees compensation to replenish seeds in case they fail to germinate.
The program, known as Replanting Guarantee has so far attracted over 40,000 farmers in the last two years according to James Wambugu, UAP-Old Mutual Group Managing Director, General Insurance.
The Replanting Guarantee cover is a partnership between UAP Insurance, Acre Africa, SeedCo and Safaricom where farmers register via short text messages.
“With the Kenya Meteorological Department predicting lower rainfall this year, we expect to register at least 900,000 farmers this year, indicating the severity with which farmers are taking the year’s planting season,” Wambugu said.
He said that products uptake has been phenomenal in the last three years. “We have seen a rising population of farmers using certified seeds that are suitable for their respective weather patterns. It’s our intent to ensure that farmers do not suffer as a result of erratic weather patterns,” he added.
The cover uses mobile phone technology to provide the service to farmers, enabling them to re-invest in another bag of seeds within the planting period should their crop be affected by adverse weather conditions within 21 days of planting the purchased seed.
“All registered farmers are guaranteed to automatically receive, a full refund via M-Pesa to purchase another bag and replant within the current rainy season with good seeds and get that bumper harvest,” he added.