Firms strike Sh1.15bn deal to stem loss of livestock in Isiolo

Recurrent drought in northern Kenya has seen livestock farmers suffer huge losses. PHOTO | FILE

What you need to know:

  • Farmers to insure their stock against drought using index-based insurance product

Three institutions have penned a Sh1.15 billion deal aimed at mitigating the effects of drought on pastoralists in Isiolo.

APA insurance, World Vision and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) have introduced an index-based insurance product using satellite-based data to provide cover against the loss of livestock.

Index-based insurance is used to protect against shared rather than individual risk such as the danger associated with weather changes, disease out breaks or price swings.

The partnership will come as a relief to the community around the region whose socio-economic activities are characterised by nomadic lifestyle with livestock being their major source of wealth.

The deal will rely on ILRI’s technology to observe vegetation cover while providing a trigger for the insurance payout by APA. The insurance package will be based on models developed by ILRI which establishes a relationship between average livestock mortality in the area and forage availability.

“This technology will enable us observe vegetation cover while providing an objective trigger for the insurance payout,” said Apollo Group CEO Ashok Shah.

The introduction of the cover will see the roll out of training sessions which are aimed at familiarizing the livestock farmers with the insurance product.

This project in Isiolo is a follow-up of a similar initiative which APA partnered with ILRI in Marsabit last year. Marsabit has similar climatic characteristics.

“This is a scale-up of the index-based livestock insurance programme, having initially begun in Marsabit and now we are in Isiolo,” said Andrew Mude, a senior scientist at ILRI in charge of the partnership.

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