Faulu Bank has entered into a partnership with USAID-funded Feed the Future Kenya Crops and Dairy Market Systems Activity (KCDMS) implemented by RTI International to enhance access to finance for farmers across the country.
The collaboration – which targets 12 Counties namely: Migori, Homabay, Kisumu, Kisii, Siaya, Bungoma, Kakamega, Vihiga, Busia, Kitui, Makueni and Taita Taveta regions – aims to support the development of sustainable agriculture as an economic engine, an environmentally sound enterprise, and an essential contributor to human health and welfare.
Commenting on the new deal, Faulu Bank MD Apollo Njoroge said “This partnership will not only allow us to grow our agriculture financing segment but also enable us to train at least 10,000 farmers on how to take loans, grow their revenues and how to flag off challenges in their farming journey. At least Kshs 100 million has been set aside by the bank for agriculture financing and we are ready to extend more financing towards agriculture on a need basis.”
Besides the training, the USAID- KCDMS project Ksh.12.9 million grant will support Faulu to recruit and train staff in the branches that support agriculture financing as well as credit staff involved in agriculture loan analysis and disbursement.
In his remarks, KCDMS Chief of Party, Dr. Robert Mwadime said: “KCDMS is expanding access to finance and credit by smallholder farmers and SMEs through partnerships with financial and micro-finance institutions in Kenya. Faulu Bank is one of our strategic partners in developing innovative credit solutions for smallholders and agricultural enterprises”.
The partnership further seeks to help all individuals, and not only full-time farmers make healthier eating choices or as large-scale as informing policies and programs that affect millions of people.
“KCDMS is currently supporting over 40,000 farmers and MSMEs to access financial literacy training and credit from partner financial and microfinance institutions such as Faulu Bank for investment in inputs, seeds, fertilizer, and equipment. Our partnership with Faulu will see an additional 10,000 farmers benefiting,” said Dr. Mwadime.
According to its 2022 strategic pillars, the bank remains keen on strengthening its play in the counties, where the key economic activities are taking place, by providing the much-needed financial support to improve the capacity of small enterprises to take advantage of unfolding trade opportunities at the devolved level.
Additionally, this partnership looks to integrate the youth and women into the agricultural market system. Young Kenyans represent a large and growing share of the country’s workforce, and with improving educational attainment and advanced digital literacy, they are poised to drive agricultural innovation and transformation.
Some of the expected outcomes of this partnership are: increased investment and employment by youth and women within high-return agricultural value chains, improved understanding among young people and women about profitable business opportunities across entire value chains, reducing stigma and misconceptions about entering the agricultural sector and reduced barriers for youth and women in accessing finance, stimulating investment in production and off-farm enterprises.
Lastly, the partnership hopes to enable customers to achieve lifetime financial goals and experience personalized services for all at the branch level.
Faulu Microfinance Bank, a subsidiary of the UAP Old Mutual Group, is one of Kenya’s fastest growing banks with a network of over 60 outlets and over 1000 employees. The Bank offers a variety of financial solutions catering to both Retail and MSME segments. Established in 1991, Faulu has grown significantly, touching the lives of millions of Kenyans and currently has been involved in aggressive market penetration initiatives in the banking sector through innovative deposit and credit solutions.
The Feed the Future Kenya Crops and Dairy Market Systems Activity (KCDMS), implemented by RTI International, a 5-year USAID-funded project aimed at increasing agricultural production and reducing poverty and malnutrition in Kenya. KCDMS partners with actors in the horticulture and dairy sectors to transform agricultural market systems, create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive, and encourage government-level reforms that encourage investment. KCDMS engages local partners to facilitate farmers’ intensification and diversification into higher-value crops and support capacity building for farms and firms in value-addition and off-farm employment.