KENYA – UN Women Kenya chapter, in partnership with Kenya’s agriculture sector lender Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC), have held a two day business to business forum in Kenya’s coastal city of Mombasa aimed at providing a platform for buyers/agro-dealers and other key stakeholders in the agri–market space to engage with women farmers.
The partnership seeks to enhance awareness on local markets and take steps towards mitigating the market risk and open new horizons in matters market for women in agriculture.
Speaking during the forum, AFC Head of Credit, Mr. Bonano Badia pointed out that women and youth remain financially excluded not only due to the lack of hard collateral that is required by most financial institutions, but other factors like high financial illiteracy levels, lack of markets for agri-products, absence of extension services contributing to significantly to this low uptake.
“Women and youth remain financially excluded not only due to the lack of hard collateral that is required by most financial institutions, but other factors like high financial illiteracy levels, lack of markets for agri-products, absence of extension services contributing to significantly to this low uptake”Bonano Badia – Head of Credit, AFC
To address this, the lender has developed focussed credit plus financial delivery models which include the Women Affirmative Access Window (WAAW), Microfinance Ride-on Access Window (MRAW) and Cooperative Ride-on Access Window (CRAW) to reach out to the excluded special interest groups with favourable relations.
AFC board member, Rukia Rashid lauded the partnership between AFC and UN Women Kenya noting that under AFC’s Women Affirmative Access Window (WAAW), the two organisations have linked over 1,800 agri-preneurs to skills and availed investments worth over US$1.2 million into their agribusiness ventures.
“I am pleased to see that a further 100 women-led agribusinesses in the Coastal Region will have been successfully linked to markets and knowledge on value addition, agro-processing and financial access” she said.
AFC has worked in partnership with UN Women Kenya for the last two years and that partnership has seen the Corporation carry out a baseline survey to determine the challenges facing women in accessing agri- finance, identify the capacity needs of women in matters agri- finance and build the capacity of women across ten counties.
AFC is the Kenya government owned leading credit institution mandated to provide credit for the sole purpose of developing agriculture in the country offering short, medium- and long-term finance.