At least 12,000 farmers have been paid Sh100 million for maize crop failure last season in an insurance project the government is banking on to achieve food security.
Head of crop insurance at the Agriculture ministry Jacinta Ngwiri said the farmers are from 20 counties with Meru, Uasin Gishu, Bungoma, Kilifi, Nakuru and Narok registering the highest population of farmers.
This comes just days after the Treasury unveiled the 2019/20 Budget affirming allocation of Sh300 million for subsidised crop insurance being implemented in collaboration with 27 counties.
Under the subsidised insurance project, the State pays half the premium ranging between Sh2,800 and Sh400 depending on acreage.
“At the time of inception in 2015 we started with 900 farmers but currently we have registered 425,000 farmers in agriculture-rich counties,” she said yesterday in a phone interview.
The project involves farmers insuring crops based on projected harvest with premiums calculated on production output in each region besides other risk factors. Farmers pay only 50 percent of the premium charges with State taking care of the balance.
The insurance companies participating in the project are CIC, Amaco, Jubilee, UAP Old Mutual, Kenya Orient and APA Insurance which coordinates the project on behalf of the insurers while the money is channeled through KCB and Equity banks.
“Farmers are embracing crop insurance because they have discovered it mitigates against crop failure. When rains fail farmers suffer because their harvests are affected and this is what the project seeks to address,” said Ms Ngwiri.
In Meru, 1,121 farmers from Imenti North and Tigania West sub-counties will be paid Sh9.4 million, which is double last season’s payout, signalling growing uptake of the programme, according to Martin Munene, a director in the county Agriculture department. Last year, 253 farmers were paid Sh4.5 million.
The project will be rolled out to five more counties – Imenti Central, Buuri, Tigania Central Igembe Central and Igembe North, where farmers have ben paid more than Sh1 million in premiums, he said.
Targeting maize, beans and green grams at the moment, the cover will, beginning October, be extended to Irish potatoes and in future will cover cash crops including tea and coffee, she said.
World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021
World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.
“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.
He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.
The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.
People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.
For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.
Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.
“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.
Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.
“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”
According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.
Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans
The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.
Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.
Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.
Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options.
This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.
The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.
The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.
The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).
The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.
The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour; Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).
The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.
Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”
He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.