Agriculture at the heart of Equity Bank’s financial model

 Agriculture at the heart of Equity Bank’s financial model

Equity’s recognition as the Best Bank in Kenya in Agriculture and Livestock Financing by the 2022 Think Business Banking Awards is an indication that farmers and other agriculture players can tap into the Bank’s reach to grow.

The current global economic crisis has led to a sharp increase in food prices and is a stark reminder of the importance of increasing our food production capacity and reducing reliance on global supply chains for critical food items.

Regional lender Equity has been supporting farmers and other primary players in the agriculture value chain to access farm inputs and machinery in support of enhancing food security and empowering small-scale farmers to farm the future, as underpinned in the first pillar of the `Africa Recovery and Resilience Plan.’

A notable area of intervention is the strategic Public-Private Partnership between the government, European Union (EU) and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and Equity Bank; Kenya Cereals Enhancement Program (KCEP-CRAL).

The program aims at supporting smallholder farmers to increase the productivity and profitability of cereals by ensuring that targeted smallholder farmers have access to farm inputs, value chain financing, markets, post-harvest management and investments in interventions that build resilience to climate change and sustainable natural resources management.

The Bank through its subsidiary Equity Group Foundation (EGF) has built the capacity of value chain stakeholders through financial literacy and entrepreneurship training and to 47,608 farmers on Financial Education while 209 agro-dealers have received advanced financial management skills.

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Further, a total of 54,267 farmers have already benefitted from the program by accessing certified farm inputs worth Kes2.1 billion via the e-voucher platform.

Through affordable financing, Equity is seeking to make the agriculture ecosystem more coordinated, connected, and capacitated, with mechanization as a key pillar driving higher productivity and enhancing the industrialization of Africa.

In June this year, Equity announced a partnership with CFAO Group to provide farmers with financing to purchase Case IH and Captain Tractors through the Bank’s asset finance credit facilities.

Through this partnership, Equity is providing farmers and individuals with up to 80 percent financing with flexible terms and at attractive rates with an additional option of allowing them to adjust their repayment terms based on the farming season, therefore, promoting the increased adoption of mechanization in agriculture.

Equity Group CEO, Dr James Mwangi underscored the important role the agriculture sector plays when announcing the partnership with CFAO Group, “We are doing everything we can to increase agriculture production. We want to secure the values and aspirations of our people and with agriculture being 33 percent of Kenya’s GDP, capturing 40 percent of employment with 40 percent of that in rural areas and with almost 65 percent of agriculture accounting for foreign exchange, for us at Equity this is important.”

According to Equity Group’s financial results for six months to June, the lender’s Kes650.6 billion went to the food and agriculture sector.

Young people in agriculture, small-scale, medium scale and large-scale farmers also benefit from financial and digital literacy training allowing them to enhance their money and business management skills and enhancing their wealth creation.

Additionally, the Bank’s efforts in digitizing its customer touchpoints to deliver flexibility and convenience also align with the theme of this year’s ASK Show series: “Promoting Innovation and Technology in Agriculture and Trade.”

Today, farmers can access instant loans of between Kes100 and Kes3 million from the convenience of their mobile devices anywhere and at any time by dialing *247# on any network or through their Equitel lines or through the upgraded Equity Mobile app.



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