In FinDev Gateway: Protecting Livestock and Livelihoods from Climate Change
FinDev interviews Sarfraz Shah, Project Manager of Micro & Agriculture Insurance of APA Insurance, European Microfinance Award 2019 winner, on their work with Kenyan smallholders to help them build resilience to the effects of climate change such as droughts and flooding.
FinDev: Congratulations on winning the 2019 European Microfinance Award. This year’s theme was “Strengthening Resilience to Climate Change.” Can you tell us how climate change is affecting your clients in Kenya?
Sarfraz: Agriculture in Kenya is highly dependent on rains, but climate change is affecting rain cycles, and droughts are now occurring more frequently. About 75 percent of Kenyan farmers are smallholder subsistence farmers who are highly vulnerable to the economic effects of the natural disasters brought about by climate change. Droughts in particular have been devastating, pushing farmers who are better off into poverty and the already poor into destitution. Pastoralists risk losing their livestock when forage availability is reduced due to drought, and farmers risk losing their crops. As a result, most small-scale farmers and pastoralists remain trapped in a cycle of poverty, and youth are leaving rural areas to seek opportunities in the cities.