Equity Bank has set aside KSh3 billion loans for the next five years with the aim of reaching 100,000 food crop farmers through its Kilimo Biashara project.
This is in line with the bank’s effort to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.
The bank has invested over KSh1.1 billion to improve market access, capacity building and expansion of agricultural production value chain as of end of this year’s first quarter.
This has seen at least 638,522 small-scale farmers transformed to agribusiness entrepreneurs through eight of its agricultural projects and partnerships within the review period ending March 31, 2019.
“Up to Sh200 million has been accessed in loans by these farmers with 31,291 of them being medium-sized farmers,” said Equity Bank Group chief executive James Mwangi.
The bank’s first quarter data shows that the transformation is part of a KSh35.3 billion investment in social programmes through Equity Group Foundation.
Among the agriculture projects spearheading the transformation is the Kenya Cereal Enhancement Programme where subsidy inputs worth Sh764 million were channelled to reach 400,000 farmers.
The programme enables farmers to access inputs from selected agro-dealers through an E-voucher.
Other projects include the Smallholder Dairy that targets to train 24,400 dairy farmers, Kenya Forest Services that has seen 2,374 farmers’ access loans worth KSh41.2 million to promote farm forestry investments, and the Medium Size Farm project that has trained 2,616 farmers financial management and good agricultural practices.