Agriculture Finance Corporation Unveils New Agri-Financing Products For Women
The Agriculture Finance Corporation (AFC) has developed new financial delivery models targeting women who have been excluded in agricultural financing.
The models which include Women Affirmative Access Window (WAAW), Microfinance Ride-on Access Window (MRAW) and Cooperative Ride-on Access Window (CRAW), target to scale up the uptake of agricultural loans by women across the country.
AFC’s head of credit Bonano Badia said despite enhanced access to agricultural financing in the country, uptake of the services by women remained below 20 per cent.
He said a baseline survey by the corporation in partnership with UN Women, the European Union and the Kenya Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), revealed that women remained financially excluded not only due to lack of collaterals but also high financial illiteracy levels, lack of markets for agri-products and absence of extension services.
The corporation, he said, has rolled out capacity building programmes across the country to sensitise women on the new products.
Speaking in Kisumu on Thursday, Badia said women constitute the bulk of farmers in the country and that them taking up agricultural financing will accelerate the journey towards food security as envisioned in the government’s Big Four agenda.
“AFC has pumped Sh2 billion on sugarcane which is grown in this region but very little of it has benefitted women,” he said.
Badia called for collaboration with county governments and other stakeholders to ensure that women actively take up agricultural financing.
“We must change the narrative and encourage women and youth to take advantage of the various models of financing to venture into farming as a business,” he said.
Kisumu Deputy governor Mathews Owili pledged the county government’s support to rally women in taking up the new products.
He said the devolved unit has put structures in place, including the creation of Savings and Credit Societies (SACCO’s), through which women can access credit.
“The county government of Kisumu has made agriculture a top priority to boost food security and create jobs for youths and women,” he said, pointing at the Sh30 million Gem Rai irrigation scheme as an example of a project where women will be engaged in rice farming.