Companies

M-Kopa, Pula get Sh142m in grants

cash (1)
victorjuma_img

Summary

  • The three-year project will have three phases –product development, piloting and scaling.
  • The outcomes are expected to benefit 360,000 farmers, half of them women, as well as boost farm yields by up to 30 percent.

Kenya-based financial technology firms M-Kopa and Pula Advisors are set to receive grants totalling $1.3 million (Sh142.5 million) from a fund backed by the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) to conduct market research.

Pula, which offers insurance to small-scale farmers, will receive $1 million (Sh109.6 million).

Mobile phone-based solar kit reseller M-Kopa will get $300,000 (Sh32.8 million). The research by the two companies will seek to find ways of enhancing women’s access to digital financial services including loans and microinsurance.

The grants will be disbursed through the Africa Digital Financial Inclusion Facility, a blended finance vehicle supported by AfDB.

“This grant funding will be used to leverage technology to develop innovative and responsive loan and insurance products that can spur productivity and inclusion, especially for our women smallholder farmers and traders,” Sheila Okiro, the bank’s co-ordinator for ADFI said in a statement.

The three-year project will have three phases –product development, piloting and scaling. The outcomes are expected to benefit 360,000 farmers, half of them women, as well as boost farm yields by up to 30 percent.

Pula Advisors, which works with governments and providers of seed, fertiliser and loans to bundle insurance with farm input products, will conduct the research in Kenya, Nigeria and Zambia. The study will focus on social, cultural and economic factors that impact women farmers’ access to micro-insurance.