KENYA: Financing boost for small farmers – AGRA, Equity, IFAD

KENYA: Financing boost for small farmers


Photo: Manoocher Deghati/IRIN
The cost of food is rising, placing a disproportionate burden on the poor who spend most of their income on consumables

NAIROBI, 6 May 2008 (IRIN) – Small farmers and agricultural enterprises are the main beneficiaries of a financing partnership launched on 6 May to help them break out of poverty and commercialise farming.

“We must insulate our people from the indignity of hunger and starvation,” James Mwangi, the chief executive officer of Equity Bank, one of the partners in the deal, said in Nairobi at the launch of “Kilimo Biashara” (Commercialising Farming).

According to the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), the partnership represents an innovative solution to the farmers’ credit crunch, with the aim of boosting food security and creating jobs in rural areas.

AGRA, with Equity Bank, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture, signed an agreement for a loan facility of US$50 million (Ksh3 billion) to speed up financing for at least 2.5 million farmers and 15,000 agricultural enterprises across the country.

The loan facility will operate against a “cash guarantee fund” from AGRA and IFAD to reduce part of the risk of lending by Equity Bank, AGRA said.
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