Agriculture is a key economic activity for Kenya, contributing to approximately 33% of the country’s GDP and employing more than 40% of the population. Over the recent years, we have seen government, private sector and development agencies join hands in working towards the revolution of the sector geared at increasing food security and building resilience for communities and the country at large.
While great strides have been made, more can still be done to support the agriculture value chain players to enhance their production, improve quality and, above all, add value to the agriculture products through processing.
The potential of the sector, though huge, remains moderately untapped mostly due to lack of sufficient financing, poor agricultural practices and a limited number of extension services to support farmers.
Kingdom Bank, a subsidiary of the Co-operative Bank of Kenya, has invested in supporting the sector through various strategies that have been effective, inclusive and impactful not only on its customers but also on the sector at large.
First, the bank has a dedicated agribusiness unit that focuses on empowering farm input providers, farmers, food processors and distributors. The empowerment of these value chain players is in the form of financial support through the provision of savings, loans, investment, digital financial solutions and payment platforms that allow these players to scale their agribusiness ventures.
Although many other banks also extend agriculture financing, Kingdom Bank’s value proposition is hinged on personalized relationship management and superior client servicing. This means that each customer is mapped to a Relationship Manager who handles their day-to-day operations and also extends financial advisory services as a value add to customers.
In addition, the bank has signed extensive partnerships with other stakeholders in the industry including motor vehicle and equipment service providers, SME trainers and key government institutions to offer farmers within the bank network with affordable solutions that can support them in mechanizing their operations, grow their output and enhance their efficiency when it comes to agriculture.
This concerted effort has seen the bank advance over Ksh62 million to the agriculture sector from the year 2021 to date. This loan distribution forms a huge percentage of the bank’s active loan book showcasing a commitment to support farmers and the agriculture value chain.
In fact, the support to the sector has not gone unnoticed with the Agriculture Society of Kenya feting Kingdom Bank with several accolades in the 2023 circuit of the ASK shows and trade fairs for having the Best Bank Stand.
“This is the first year the bank has participated in the agriculture shows and we successfully exhibited our brand, our solutions and our promise to our customers across the country in Kisii, Kisumu, Nakuru, Mombasa, Nyeri and Nairobi. This has allowed us to also engage with agriculture players and identify other areas in which we can support them,” said Mr Kevin Muendo the Head of Micro Credit and Agribusiness at Kingdom Bank.
He also added that the bank remained intentional about creating market linkages for its customers, noting that several them exhibited their solutions at the bank’s stands in the shows. This includes among others, Dannde Oils, an enterprise run by two ambitious youths who process coconut to produce oil, coconut sugar, coconut flour and other by-products including cookies and other snacks.
Knights Energy, a customer of the bank that provides solar solutions for industrial, commercial and residential use was also present at the Nairobi International Trade Fair showcasing solutions within the clean energy space at the bank’s stand. In fact, Knights Energy powered the Kingdom Bank stand using solar power showcasing a commitment to embrace clean energy.
So the next time you want agriculture financing, think Kingdom Bank. Simply walk into any of their branches countrywide and engage them based on your needs.