Seeds of change: powering agribusiness for Kenya’s prosperity

Across Kenya, agribusiness is emerging as a vibrant investment, fast drawing an increasing number of players due to the segments’ immense promise and income potential. From fruit farming to fresh produce production to the rearing of the Doper sheep breed, bold investors are stepping forward with fresh ideas to drive industrialization while creating decent jobs.

To fully unlock the sectors’ potential, financial institutions must innovate and deploy their products strategically, nurturing sustainable growth while cultivating the fertile ground of Kenya’s agricultural potential.

But, realizing the full potential of this sector demands more than just recognition; it requires strategic prioritization from financial institutions such as Absa Bank Kenya. Investing in agribusiness is not merely a prudent financial decision; it is imperative for fostering sustainable growth and unlocking the vast potential in the larger agricultural industry.

Role of agribusiness in jobs creation

As the backbone of Kenya’s economy, agriculture holds the key to addressing several national challenges, from food security to the creation of jobs, rural development, and export diversification.

With judicious financing products and strategy, Kenya can harness the transformative power of agribusiness to cultivate a thriving ecosystem that not only feeds the rising population but also powers economic prosperity and paves the path toward a resilient and prosperous future.

Absa is stepping forward to pioneer this strategic foresight by identifying agribusiness as one of the Pan-African lender’s key pillars of growth. Recognizing the huge contribution of agriculture to Kenya’s economy, Absa has embedded it as a cornerstone in its accelerated growth plans.

By adopting a comprehensive value chain approach, Absa is actively offering a range of services to enterprises offering farm inputs, primary producers, aggregators in the value chain, as well as other agro-industry players.

This strategy is in sync with the lender’s four-pronged approach, focusing on access to markets, access to information, continuous mentorship and coaching, and importantly, sustainable financing for investors across the industry.

Read also: Absa Life Assurance Kenya earnings up 90% to Sh862 million

Agribusiness value chains

By offering tailor-made solutions addressing these critical aspects of agribusiness, Absa is not only facilitating financial transactions but also nurturing a conducive environment for the sustainable growth of various agribusiness value chains. Some of the target value chains include dairy, horticulture, tea, milling for both human and animal feed, and enterprises involved in providing farm inputs.

At the moment, Data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics shows Kenya’s agriculture industry remains a primary pillar of the economy, accounting for roughly 25 percent of the GDP, 60 percent of export revenues, and employs 40 percent of the workforce in the country, especially in the rural areas.

Kenya Vision 2030 sets a bold trajectory for economic growth, identifying agriculture as a catalyst capable of propelling annual economic growth rates to 10 percent. This blueprint envisions an overhaul of smallholder agriculture from subsistence-driven practices to a dynamic, commercially driven sector.

Central to this ambitious transformation is the concept of agribusiness, encompassing the entire spectrum of agricultural activities, from production to marketing and retail sales.

Through strategic interventions such as Absa’s, Kenya has a chance to not only meet its economic targets but also usher in an era of sustainable growth, where agribusiness catalyzes national development and global competitiveness.

However, despite its significance and potential, the agriculture industry faces macro-economic and climate-change-related challenges, that have over the decades led to stagnant yields, in turn worsening food insecurity in East Africa’s largest economy.

Financing for export

While noting the urgency of the situation, Absa Bank Kenya took a proactive measure last year, signing a Kes1.3 billion (US$10 million) partnership with Germany-based impact investment entity Fund.

This strategic partnership seeks to steadily increase financing for domestic and export businesses across Kenya’s entire agricultural value chain, including corporates and SMEs engaged in the production, processing, packaging, distribution, and export trade.

This infusion of capital is not just about financial transactions; it is also a commitment to promoting sustainable and climate-resilient agricultural practices in the country. By mitigating the impact of climate change and contributing to food security, Absa Bank Kenya is increasingly evolving into a partner in fostering resilient and inclusive economic growth.

Overall, by extending innovative financial products to players in the agribusiness sector, financial institutions can catalyze transformative change, empower local communities, and help build a future where prosperity is not a privilege but a shared reality for millions of Kenyans.

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