Market News

Women receive Sh1bn AFC loans for agribusiness


AFC board chairman Franklin Bett. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) has extended a Sh1 billion loan to women farmers as it seeks to empower women-led enterprises.

The money, which is part of Sh3 billion that AFC intends to loan women, has been disbursed over nine months, according to the agency’s board chair Franklin Bett.

The institution last year started the Women Affirmative Access Window programme to drive financial inclusion in agricultural finance.

Mr Bett said the loans have been made collateral free to attract women who would want to access funds for agro enterprises but they are held back by the need to have security as is the case with commercial banks.

“We have issued Sh1 billion since the beginning of the current financial year and we still have more funds to give out under this programme,” he said.

AFC aims to increase loans advanced to women to about Sh1.4 million a day or Sh1 billion in a calendar year.

Strategic plan

On the total AFC loans portfolio of Sh8.7 billion, women account for only 25 per cent despite their loans being much productive than those of their male counters.

Mr Bett spoke Thursday when he introduced the new AFC managing director George Kubai in Nairobi.

Mr Kubai said he is keen to implement the lender’s strategic plan that includes transforming AFC into a bank.

“My main agenda at AFC will be to implement the strategic plan of the corporation and ensuring that we tailor our activities to meet the needs of the farmers,” he said.