Kenya is generally an agricultural economy. Despite the numerous challenges occasioned by prolonged drought, and most recently locusts, agriculture is still the backbone of the economy in this country.
They say that “there is money in farming”. Very few people know this and those who have chosen the path of farming have never regretted it.
Through farming, Kenyans have been able to generate food both for their families, as well as revenue from the sale of the surplus. They have been able to create employment for other people, and contribute to the country’s gross domestic product.
There is no doubt that agriculture plays a critical role in Kenya’s economy. The sector provides employment to more than 40 percent of the total population with more than 70 percent being in Kenya’s rural areas.
Although agriculture is a major contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product, the level of productivity has been on the decline over the years. This has been a result of negative perceptions about farming, hazards such as drought and locusts.
Financial institutions such as the Co-operative Bank of Kenya, having realized the power of agriculture, have been helping thousands of small-scale farmers across the country.
Co-operative Bank has a unique market position given that co-operatives in Kenya are its major stakeholders. Therefore, the Bank is well-positioned to contribute towards growing levels of agricultural productivity and food security.
“Our support to small-scale farmers through co-operatives and organized groups makes our communities economically stronger with increased incomes and improved livelihoods,” says the bank in a statement.
According to the lender, their services towards the agricultural sector aims at strengthening producer organizations to improve business management skills, marketing, financial, administrative, and organizational performance, improving access to financial services, credit, and insurance, and promoting agribusiness.