Kenya Seeks Insurers for its Crop Insurance Programme in 33 Counties

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Photo I David Jones @Cropnuts_agron

Kenya is seeking to expand its crop insurance programme (CIP) coverage to 33 counties through a partnership with insurers

“CIP will be delivered via a 50-50% premium payment module where farmers will pay 50 percent with the government subsidising the rest. Farm sizes start at a quarter of an acre to 20 acres; farmers with over 20 acres will enjoy the subsidy for the first 20 acres but pay the full premium for the remaining acreage,’ it said.

CIP is modelled on the Area Yield Index Insurance (AYII) mechanism piloted since 2015 when it took off with 900 farmers on board. 

 This will be implemented via the State Department for Crops Development and Agriculture Research that seeks to procure the services of registered insurance underwriters to provide insurance services for the CIP fo two financial years: 2019/2020 and 2020/2021.

“The insurance will cover farmers in 33 counties grouped under three groups:

Lot 1 covers: Uasin Gichu, Elegeyo Marakwet, Migori, Homa Bay, Bomet, Kisumu, Kwale, Kitui, Taita Taveta and Narok.

Lot2 covers: Kakamega, Bungoma, Vihiga, Nyandarua, Kiambu, Nyeri, Meru, Laikipia, Samburu, Tharaka Nithi and Nandi.

Lot 3 counties include: Trans Nzoia, Kisii, Nyamira, Siaya, Embu, Kirinyaga, Murang’a, Nakuru, Machoka, Kilifi, Makueni and Busia.”


Farmers targeted are those that grow maize, pulses and Irish potatoes.  The Government uses the Multi-peril Area Yield Index Insurance (AYII) where it works with private insurance companies responsible for developing products and selling crop insurance to farmers.”

“For every farmer taking insurance for a particular crop, the Government pays 50% of the insurance premiums as a subsidy while the farmer pays the balance 50%.” 

The AYII covers crop losses attributed to natural calamities of weather, pests, and disease where compensation is calculated from the difference between actual yields and a guaranteed or insured produce per acre per UAI.

“The Government support cover is for farm sizes ranging from quarter an acre to 20 acres.”

In the current 2019/20 financial year, KSh300 million has been set aside for subsidizing farmer crop insurance premium payments in 27 counties.


Target beneficiaries are identified as well as insured crops at the beginning of the planting season and grouped into homogeneous Unit Areas of Insurance (UAI), a modality that identifies regions with similar historical yield averages.

“Towards the end of the season, the government facilitates loss assessment in all the counties, mainly via actual yields estimation using crop cutting exercises.

“Application of modern technology for crop monitoring and data management digitisation is key to enhancing the efficiency of the programme,” said the notice.

Interested Underwriters have until December 10 to apply.

According to the World Bank, agricultural insurance programs that are carefully designed and implemented can increase farmers’ access to credit, improve agricultural productivity, reduce the economy’s vulnerability to the effects of natural disasters, and provide much-needed social protection to the poor.

“However, the agricultural insurance market in Kenya is still very small, and those who would benefit most—subsistence and small commercial farmers and pastoralists—are largely excluded from it,” according to the World Banks’s Toward a National Crop and Livestock Insurance Program policy proposals.