Rahab Kariuki ACRE Africa Managing Director, and Dr. Eliud Kiplimo Kireger, Director General KALRO sign the MoU. On the extreme right is Dr. Felister Wambugha Makini Deputy Director General [Crops]), KALRO

February 23 2017, KALRO Headquarters Kaptagat Rd, Loresho, Nairobi Kenya

Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), Agriculture, and Climate Risk Enterprise Africa (ACRE Africa) have today signed a Memorandum of Understanding. This is an expression to cooperate within the scope of their mandates and sphere of competencies to provide agricultural risks management solutions to Kenyan farmers. Synergy creation will substantially expand the prospects of developing projects aimed at creating sustainability in agricultural investments through dissemination of prioritized crop planting materials and livestock breeds bundled with insurance.

Over 80% of the Kenyan population, especially living in rural areas, derive their livelihoods mainly from agricultural related activities. However, in recent years, the country has been facing severe food insecurity problems which are attributable to several factors that include frequent droughts in most parts of the country a result of climate change.  As a consequence, crops and animal production are currently more constrained than before. However, with insurance, farmers can de-risk their investment and still invest in improved varieties because they will no longer have to bear the risk.

Dr. Eliud Kireger, Director General of KALRO said, this partnership is very important in catalyzing the dissemination and adoption of climate smart technologies devolved by KALRO. He noted that these technologies include the use of improved crop varieties such as wheat and maize, and adapted livestock breeds such as the Sahiwal and improved boran cattle. For example in collaborating with ACRE Africa, we will develop insurance products to ensure that when our crop seeds (e.g. wheat) or livestock (e.g. sahiwal) availed by KALRO are purchased with a one-year insurance cover included in the price communicated to the buyer. Dr Kireger further indicated that the collaboration will provide a platform for sharing information and knowledge that may minimize risks posed by key constraints farmers face.  This information will include weather information and what action to take; advisory services on pests and diseases management among others.  Farmers will be the ultimate beneficiaries from this partnership, as the insurance products will reduce risks associated with climate change, be able to increase productivity and enhance commercialization of their agricultural enterprises.

On her part, Rahab Kariuki, Managing Director ACRE Africa said, the data collected during the project will help us improve on insurance products for the farmers. This is a win-win partnership where each organization is leveraging on its strengths, she said.

KALRO mission is to contribute to increased productivity, commercialization and competitiveness of the agricultural sector through generation and promotion of knowledge, information and technologies that respond to clients demands and opportunities. ACRE Africas mission is to help unlock the full potential of agriculture by eliminating the stress and potential damage of climate variables for farmers across Africa, through localized insurance solutions that reduce climate-associated risks.

- ACRE Africa