Around 80% of Kenya’s 30 million inhabitants earn their livelihoods from farming. With an average farm size of less than 2.5ha, a powerful route to economic growth for Kenya’s smallholder farmers is access to productive agricultural assets. However, 36% of rural Kenyans have no access to any form of financial services, making these assets unattainable.
The Juhudi Kilimo approach is tailored towards helping women and youth, and prevents recipients spiralling into debt by permitting investment in physical assets that generate income, rather than providing cash. Technical support is offered to the farmers as part of the package with information and services delivered directly and through strategic partners.
Through Juhudi Kilimo, Kenyan smallholder farmers can access high-quality agricultural assets that enhance the productivity of their farms, such as irrigation equipment, chicken coops, or improved breeds of dairy cows that can produce more milk. The assets are insured as part of the package, to further reduce the risk of investment, and assets are used as collateral in case of default. Juhudi Kilimo plans to increase its reach from 10,000 borrowers to more than 100,000 by the end of 2015 – aiming to improve the lives of nearly 500,000 rural Kenyans.