KCB Group commits loans to smallholder farmers
From MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi , Kenya
NAIROBI, (CAJ News) – KENYA Commercial Bank (KCB) Group has committed Ksh 35 billion (US$350 million) towards lending and capacity building in the agricultural sector over the next five years.
The funding is expected to impact the lives of more than 2 million farmers including 100 000 youth and women who will now have access to affordable credit facilities.
KCB Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director at KCB Bank Kenya, Joshua Oigara, said the increased funding would constitute 5 percent of the bank’s loan book, slightly above the current 3,85 percent funding to the sector.
Currently, the Bank lends almost Ksh 14 billion to the agricultural sector.
“These are part of our efforts to leave a solid footprint on the agricultural sector since we appreciate the oft stated fact that agriculture remains the backbone of the economies we operate in,” said Oigara.
Addressing delegates including several Heads of State at the recent African Green Revolution Forum held in Nairobi recently, Oigara stressed the importance of the agricultural sector to continent.
“It is unfortunate that less than one billion dollars of the banks’ lending books goes to the agricultural sector in Africa. Our renewed commitment to the sector will therefore enable us promote Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) making it a real force for social change in the sector,” he said.
Together with MasterCard Foundation, KCB Group has established a Ksh 3 billion programme that allows farmers in Kenya and Rwanda access to credit facilities and market information through their mobile phone.
In addition, KCB Bank introduced Mifugo ni Mali (literally meaning, livestock is wealth), an initiative of the KCB Foundation to successfully establish a value chain development program that has so far reached 30 000 livestock herders, bee-keepers and fishermen across the counties.
– CAJ News
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