KCB Bank’s contribution to Agri-Business19th Jul, 2017
The potential that exists in agriculture in Kenya and the region is astronomical. The gulf between the potential and the reality is incapacitating to farmers. KCB Bank’s Retail Director Mrs Annastacia Kimtai (left) says the institution has revved up the financial tractor to plough into agribusiness for the long haul
KCB Venture: Why agribusiness?
Annastacia: Agriculture supports 80 percent of our rural population who are generally unbanked. We aim to contribute in unleashing this potential. Agriculture is also the largest contributor to GDP at 26 percent, yet it is the most underfunded. Lending by financial institutions to this sector currently stands at only 3 to 4 per cent and financial institutions should redress this. At KCB Bank we stand ready to play our part.
What type of funding does KCB Bank offer for agribusiness ventures, both small and large scale?
We offer credit solutions for working capital, agricultural asset financing, structured crop financing, contract farming financing, dairy financing (herd and installment finance) and horticulture.
What are some of the agribusiness projects the bank is investing in?
We have the MobiGrow program which is a mobile based solution that offers financial inclusion through transactional, savings and credit solution to farmers.
What is the bank doing to make Kenya and the region food secure?
We have partnered with key stakeholders to support the financing of the agriculture value chain, through provision of quality and affordable inputs, warehousing and storage facilities, and final markets for sale of the produce. We are present in the entire agricultural food production value chain and have offered products to different customers each tailored to their particular needs.
What is the role of the KCB agribusiness department?
The agribusiness department has been set up to develop sustainable products that will meet the expectation of the agriculture sector and the attendant value chain. This will result in increased lending to the sector from three to four percent to 10 percent in the next five years.
What are some of the activities that will inform its structure?
The team will work with key partners in government and development and donor agencies to develop sustainable and innovative products and solutions that address challenges faced by farmers. They will also work with the branch network to provide expertise and guidance aimed at uptake of the new projects and products.
What is the role of technology in farming as a catalyst for success?
Technology helps scale up services which have previously been unavailable due to the vast distances in which the sector operates and which have not been accessible. It fosters financial inclusion by reaching the unbanked farmers and providing them with easy access to finances which would have been impossible under conventional banking.
How does KCB Bank plan to integrate such technology to add value to its agribusiness offering?
We have developed a digital solution that will be available for all the actors in the value chain by not only providing accounts and loans but also payment services, financial and non-financial tips on good crop and animal husbandry.
Which partnerships has KCB Bank cultivated in the sector and why?
KCB Bank is a financial institution and our strength is in provision of financial services. We have partnered with many organisations who are experts in the field of agriculture to provide solutions and services to improve food security and change the livelihoods of farmers. We work closely with partners in seed development for quality inputs. We have partnered with providers of green houses, water tanks, irrigation systems and solar panels for green energy that will improve the quality and quantity of the final produce.
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