How Equity Bank has Supported Farmers in Kenya

By Jane Muia / Published September 30, 2022 | 3:36 pm




KEY POINTS

Through various interventions, Equity bank has reached out to 2.4 million farmers, including 191,000 small and medium-sized farmers, supporting them with the necessary skills to boost productivity and earnings.




KEY TAKEAWAYS


Agricultural transformation needs long-term, low-interest financing incentives to allow farmers to purchase equipment and fund the capital expenditures that increase productivity. In response to this, Equity bank disbursed loans valued at 44.45 billion shillings to the farmers.


The agricultural sector is the backbone of Kenya’s economy, contributing approximately 33 percent of Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It employs more than 40 percent of the total population and 70 percent of the rural population.

The sector accounts for 65 percent of the export earnings, provides the livelihood (employment, income, and food security needs) for more than 80 percent of the Kenyan population, and contributes to improving nutrition through the production of safe, diverse, and nutrient-dense foods.

Despite the critical role that the sector is playing in Kenya’s economy, various challenges have continued to hit the sector hard, undermining its performance. From disease outbreaks, outdated technology, high cost of farm inputs, to lack of credit farmers have faced it rough.

In Kenya, the agricultural sector is mostly formed by smallholder farmers. The small scale farming is about 75 percent of the total market, highlighting its importance in ensuring food security. Smallholder farmers are however still among the poorest in the world. It’s hard for them to maximize their potential without modern agricultural technologies, sufficient investment, and a distribution structure that remains ill-suited for accessing markets.

Moreover, major obstacles that limit the success of small-scale farming, include climate, technology and education, financing, policy, and infrastructure as well as poverty poor farming practices, and drought.

This is part of the reasons why some groups such as Equity bank came up with strategies to support small and medium-sized farmers to back up the agricultural sector in the country. Through various interventions, Equity bank has reached out to 2.4 million farmers, including 191,000 small and medium-sized farmers, supporting them with the necessary skills to boost productivity and earnings.

Agriculture

With the current changing weather patterns, Equity bank realized the need to sensitize farmers on the need to adopt innovative ways of farming.  This includes the use of technology and the application of digital skills to maximize agricultural production. The group managed to reach out to 223, 339 farmers, equipping them with digital and financial literacy.

Agricultural transformation needs long-term, low-interest financing incentives to allow farmers to purchase equipment and fund the capital expenditures that increase productivity. In response to this, Equity bank disbursed loans valued at 44.45 billion shillings to the farmers.

Moreover, the group has engaged in other agricultural practices such as planting trees to conserve the environment. As a result, 3 million trees have been planted by farmers in various parts of the country.

Related Content: Ministry of Agriculture Caps Subsidized Fertilizer at 20 Bags Per Farmer






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