Smallholder maize farmers in Embu County will benefit from a digital credit scheme for inputs and insurance to boost agricultural production.
This initiative is a result of a financing agreement between Family Bank and DigiFarm.
At least 1,000 farmers based in Mbeere North and South sub-counties will be able to borrow and access funds digitally through the agri-tech platform.
The financing will be dependent on acreage and crop cycle, with smallholder farmers with a maximum of two acres each being eligible.
In addition to financial support, the farmers will receive innovative insurance, training on sustainable agricultural practices, market linkage, and financial literacy to promote farming resilience and produce.
Stephen Njagi, the Runyenjes subcounty Agricultural Officer, expressed optimism about the program, citing its success in transitioning farmers from subsistence to commercial farming over the past five years.
“We are therefore happy that those farmers can graduate to this partnership and get credit in the form of farm inputs,” said Runyenjes Sub-County Agricultural Officer Stephen Njagi.
The initiative is particularly significant given the challenges faced by Arid and Semi-Arid Land (ASAL) counties such as Embu.
These regions often experience low agricultural produce due to production shocks such as droughts and diseases.
Family Bank Lead Digital Transformation Aristarichus Kuria emphasized the role of technology adoption and multisector partnerships in increasing financial inclusion for smallholder farmers.
He expressed confidence that the partnership would improve farmers’ financial resilience to these shocks and enhance profitability through technology.
Registered farmers will be able to redeem their credit vouchers to receive farm inputs from DigiFarm partner agrovets in the county.
DigiFarm director Seema Gohil reiterated their commitment to leveraging technology and partnerships to reduce the financing gap faced by smallholder farmers and drive climate-resilient solutions.
The partnership between Family Bank and DigiFarm will also extend to sorghum farmers in Meru County.
This follows a programme spearheaded by the International Food Policy Research Institute which aims to implement a risk-contingent credit programme to assess whether innovative insurance products can increase access to finance by smallholder farmers.