Factors influencing the use of agriculture insurance as a means for enhancing food security in Kiambu county in Kenya
The purpose of this study was to assess the factors influencing the use of Agriculture insurance as a means to promoting food security in Kenya and specifically in Kiambu County. The study was guided by the following objectives: to examine the level of awareness of the existing Agriculture insurance schemes in Kiambu County, to examine how different socio-economic factors influence the acceptance and use of Agriculture insurance as a tool for promoting food security in Kiambu County and to assess the influence of stakeholders on the use of Agriculture Insurance among farmers. Descriptive research design was used for the study. The population for the study was farmers and key informants from organizations offering Agriculture insurance in Kenya. Stratified sampling technique was used to sample the respondents. A total of 259 respondents were targeted by the study (constituting 240 farmers and 19 key informants) out of which 199 responded (180 farmers and 19 key informants) giving a response rate of 77%. Questionnaires and Interview schedules were used as instruments for data collection. Piloting was done to test on the Validity and reliability of the instruments. Quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistics while content analysis technique was used to analyze qualitative data collected using interview schedules. Microsoft SPSS package was used to analyze the quantitative data. Descriptive statistics such as frequencies and percentages was used to analyze the data. Also correlation analysis was used to analyze the extent to which the factors influence the use of agriculture insurance in enhancing food security. The study found that awareness influences the use of Agriculture insurance among farmers in Kiambu County. This was evidenced by the fact that 30% of the respondents interviewed had not heard of Agriculture insurance and the fact that only 10% of the respondents interviewed had Agriculture insurance cover for their crops and livestock. The study also found that socio-economic factors such as the cost of insurance, type of farming practiced, risks surrounding crops and livestock and income generated from farming influences the use of Agriculture Insurance. The study finally found that stakeholders influence the use of Agriculture insurance in through offering insurance at high costs premiums, long procedures in the acquisition of the policy, delays in compensation in case of loss, inadequate creation of awareness on the available policies and limited risk coverage by the insurance firms. Using correlation analysis the study found that socio-economic factors influences the usage of agriculture insurance the most (Pearson’s correlation coefficient of r = 0.843), followed by stakeholders (Pearson’s correlation coefficient of r = 0.798) and finally farmers’ awareness (Pearson’s correlation coefficient of r = 0.551). The study concluded that lack of awareness, socio-economic factors and stakeholder related factors influences the uptake of Agriculture insurance among farmers in Kiambu County. It was recommended that more awareness should be created among farmers on the benefits and the importance of use of Agriculture insurance. The study finally recommends that another study to be done on the benefits of use of Agriculture insurance to farmers which was not the focus of this study.