Adoption Of Index Based Crop Insurance Among Wheat Farmers In Narok County, Kenya
Masawa, J O
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Narok is a leading agricultural region in Kenya. It is inhabited by both large and smallholders growing rain fed wheat and other field crops that are vulnerable to severe weather shocks. In extreme cases, many farmers incur heavy financial losses and therefore are not able to move out of poverty trap with resultant household income and food insecurity. Weather Index based crop insurance has been seen as an innovative agricultural risk management strategy that can be considered as an effective mechanism to address vulnerability to catastrophic weather risk in rural regions of Kenya, including Narok. This study evaluated current household livelihood and risk management strategies and farmer interest in weather index insurance. Data from 174 participants was collected using a methodology that included focus groups, questionnaires, and personal interviews. Despite limited access to formal financial services, Narok farmers generally rely on formal and informal loans from various financial institutions for them to manage adverse impacts of natural disasters, such as drought, floods, pests and diseases. Like many regions of the developing world, Narok County farmers suffer heavy financial losses due weather shocks. A majority of interviewed participants were interested in weather index insurance after they understood its basic concept; however, respondents expressed concerns regarding basis of its risks and implementation.This study is an evaluation the weather related production risks that wheat farmers in Narok County face, the various risk management options available for them and provides policy recommendations that can be extrapolated in developing an index based crop insurance policy among Kenya farmers.