Co-operative sector umbrella body Kenya Union of Savings & Credit Co-operatives (Kuscco) has secured Sh750 million for on-lending agri-based societies through a USAid Cooperative Development Programme (CDP).
The ‘Kilimo’ loan product, jointly developed by the Kuscco and the World Council of Credit Unions, will benefit co-operative societies dealing in horticultural, cereals and dairy activities.
The Kuscco said co-operative societies with established activities that benefit farmers and have a ready market for products would benefit from the programme.
Woccu World Council CDP director Jean Thiboutot unveiled the fund following the conclusion of an eight-year Improving Small Rural Producers Income through Integrated Access to Financial Services and Agricultural Markets project.
“It is always inspiring to see our CDP projects result in financial products and services people can easily access and utilise to improve their quality of life,” said Mr Thiboutot when he commissioned an irrigation system and a borehole sunk for the 90-member Kanoto Horticultural Farmers’ Cooperative.
Kuscco said participating co-operative societies must have saved with umbrella body for more than six months, other terms.
The irrigation system will allow Kanoto farmers to enhance the production of French beans for export.
Kuscco said societies in semi-arid areas with active members, sound financial records and are certified as producers by horticultural export agencies with good farming history qualify to apply for the funds.