Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Farmer Registration and Set Up Of Automatic Weather Stations

The Low Emission and Climate Resilient development (LECRD) Project in partnership with the Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) is supporting the State Department of Agriculture (SDA) in implementing the Kenya Agriculture Insurance and Risk Management, KAIRM Programme in Rongai, Nakuru County. This relates to project 6 outcome of minimizing the impacts of extreme climate events for improved and resilient livelihoods by providing Area Yield Index Insurance (AYII) to small scale farmers in conjunction with Insurance companies.

The project team conducted a site survey to monitor the season progress of maize crop and complete the farmer registration process in Rongai Sub County before the start of crop cutting exercise to be done by the Kenya National Bureau of statistics (KNBS) to projected yield estimation. This estimation is crucial in determining pay outs to be made to insured farmers.
The farmer registration exercise was conducted through an online portal http://e-subsidy.mezzanineware.com. This entailed training enumerators and Rongai sub County Assistant Chiefs on the data to be captured. The chiefs were identified as important resource persons because of their closeness to the community and their mobility given they possess motorcycles to ease traveling in the sub county.
This resulted in an increased farmer registration of up to 65%.  The team documented the seasonal maize progress and digitized the farmer register through the recruitment gender balanced data entry officers. This enhanced team work and engagement with of all the relevant stakeholders.
LECRD, SDA and Rongai Sub county teams meeting farmers to assess the season’s progress at Kipseynan Primary School, Solai Ward                                                              
The Nakuru county government has committed itself to continuously support the expansion of the programme to one more sub county within Nakuru County based on the positive feedback received from the farmers. There will be continuous monitoring of the registered farmers to evaluate the uptake of insurance from farmers in different wards.
The uptake of the crop insurance by farmers relies on access to timely climate information. This information is relevant and complements weather based index agricultural insurance as a key strategy for climate change adaptation and improved community resilience to the vagaries of climate change. 
The LECRD project is collaborating with KMD to avail this information to farmers by installing 20 Automatic Weather Stations (AWSs). An AWS is an automated weather station enabling measurements be made from remote areas. . This is a major shift from the traditional and manual observations of weather elements. The AWS employs the use of electronic sensors connected to a data logger which facilitates automatic data processing. Another advantage of AWSs is the acquisition of a continuous set of sub daily data values providing information on highly variable climatological parameters. These systems have been established globally and their timely nature in delivering climate information is beneficial to many farmers vulnerable to the vagaries of climate change.  These Automatic Weather Stations will be spread across five counties namely; Bungoma, Homabay, Nakuru, Narok and Embu. A AWS site installation survey was carried out to determine suitability of the sites and recommendations made on appropriate sites for the installation. The recommendations would also serve as reference for KMD future AWS installation.

The LECRD Project has supported the procurement of twenty (20) Automatic Weather Stations, AWSs set to be installed in five (5) Counties namely; Bungoma, Nakuru, Homabay, Embu and Narok.

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