ATTITUDES AND UPTAKE OF AGRICULTURAL INSURANCE IN TRANS NZOIA COUNTY, KENYA
Agricultural insurance has the potential to mitigate against risks present in smallholder agriculture. These risks include uncertain climatic conditions, pest and diseases, and access to credit. However, despite its potential, uptake of agricultural insurance among smallholder farmers remains low. This study therefore assessed the attitudes towards agricultural insurance and its uptake among small holder farmers in Kenya. Data was collected from a stratified random sample of 116 farmers in Trans Nzoia County and analysed using a combination of descriptive statistics and regression analysis methods. Results indicate that while there was relatively high level of awareness on agricultural insurance (70%), uptake was limited (23%). The results of the probit model showed that access to agricultural extension and increase in farm size positively affect uptake of agricultural insurance. In addition, attitude objects around the trust level with insurance organizations, equal compensation for the loss suffered and flexibility of insured production practices positively affect uptake. The study therefore recommends that access to information about agricultural insurance mainly through agricultural extension would be very critical in enhancing uptake. Further, measures such as land consolidation and reduction in land sub-division would also enhance uptake. Insurance companies are also recommended to enhance trust with their target market and also improve on flexibility of the products offered.