•Bank's eight agricultural projects and partnerships have 638,522 small scale farmers.
• The money will help farmers in better market access, capacity building and expansion of agricultural production value chain.
Top tier lender has put Sh1.0 billion to efforts in improving livelihoods of smallholder farmers.
The money will help farmers in better market access, capacity building and expansion of agricultural production value chain.
The bank's eight agricultural projects and partnerships involving 638,522 small scale farmers have transformed into agribusiness entrepreneurs.
"Up to Sh200 million has been accessed in loans by farmers with 31,291 of them being medium-sized farmers,” Equity Bank Group MD and CEO James Mwangi said in a statement.
Among the agriculture projects spearheading the transformation is the Kenya Cereal Enhancement Programme (KCEP) where subsidy inputs worth Sh764 million to reach 400,000 farmers. The program enables farmers to access inputs from selected agro-dealers through an e-voucher platform.
Other projects include the smallholder dairy to train 24,400 dairy farmers, Kenya Forest Services where 2,374 farmers have taken loans worth Sh41.2 million to promote farm forestry investments, and the medium size farm project that has seen 2,616 farmers trained on financial management and Good Agricultural Practices.
The lender will also disburse Sh3 billion of loans in the next five years to 100,000 farmers in Kilimo Biashara project.
Some of the partners with the bank include the government, World Bank, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), European Union (EU), Kenya Forest Service (KFS), and the Kingdom of Netherlands.
According to the Economic Survey 2019 by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, the Agriculture sector real value added growth went up to 6.6 per cent last year.
Findings of the survey attribute the growth to increased production from crops and livestock due to favourable conditions.