Working with Equity Bank to address farmers financial needs

Posted on 13 August 2018   |  
© WWF-Kenya/ Anthony Diang'a
WWF -Kenya Green Horticulture Project at Lake Naivasha (GOALAN) funded by European Union (EU) under the Switch Africa Green programme is supporting micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the basin. The four year project in Nyandarua, Nakuru and Narok counties forming Lake Naivasha Basin is aimed at promoting sustainable consumption and production as envisaged in the Green Economy Strategy and Implementation Plan (GESIP) launched by the Government of Kenya in 2017.

Some of the challenges facing MSMEs in the horticulture sector in Naivasha include: Inept production and handling capacity (post-harvest losses), inadequate access to markets and market information, access to finance services and Lack of infrastructure (cold rooms, pack houses etc.). The project has thus partnered with Equity Bank and other micro finance institutions to support the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) surmount these challenges.
GOALAN project and Equity Bank and the Equity Bank Foundation held a successful meeting in July 2018to agree on areas of cooperation in addressing the financial challenges.  During the meeting, the bank representatives expressed their readiness to support the MSMEs in accessing financial services. This would include savings, offering credit facilities, enhancement of financial literacy through for example helping the farmers come up with bankable business plans, supporting the agribusiness infrastructure etc.

Thirty percent of the project beneficiaries are youths who face a myriad of challenges with access to finance being key and the bank’s willingness to nurture and be sensitive to their needs will come in handy as ordinarily they may not qualify as they lack the usual collaterals expected by banks. In the long term, the bank promised to come up with a product that is geared towards green production. With this support, the MSMEs will have increased productivity and not necessarily production as they are doing now that ends in post-harvest losses. The project is also working with buyers so as to provide readily available markets for the farmers. Mr. Patrick Munjogu, Equity Bank Branch Manager, Naivasha while speaking at the meeting said ‘’this project has come at the best time as it will help us not only reach farmers who have been shy to come to the banks but also help us have sustainable footprints by supporting the MSMEs to  produce fruits and vegetables in a sustainable way. It will also help us come up with innovative financial products towards enhancing green economy and increase green jobs’’
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