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Kenya’s Juhudi Kilimo lands Sh750M loan to support smallholder farmers, micro-enterprises

Dutch-based impact investor and worldwide cooperative Oikocredit has approved a five-year loan of Sh750 million to Juhudi Kilimo as part of a strategic funding agreement aimed at empowering Kenya’s smallholder farmers and micro enterprises in the country’s rural and periurban areas.

The agreement with Oikocredit aligns with Juhudi Kilimo’s commitment to providing customised loans and enhancing financial independence for small-holder farmers who are often underserved.

Founded in 2004 as an agriculture microlending initiative, Juhudi Kilimo is a non-deposit-taking microfinance institution (MFI) and has an outstanding loan book of Sh2.5 billion, with more than 84 per cent dedicated to the agricultural sector. 

It had developed into an independent for-profit social enterprise with the mission to improve the livelihoods of rural smallholder farmers and micro-entrepreneurs by providing wealth-creating financial solutions.

The institution was recognised by Starbrands Awards East Africa as the top microfinance provider of agricultural financing in Kenya last year.

The MFI has a track record of delivering financial inclusion serving more than 70,000 clients across 52 branches in 33 Kenyan counties.

Bernard Kivava, Juhudi Kilimo’s CEO, said, “This long-term funding from Oikocredit will support our strategic plan to offer affordable and accessible medium-term financing to our customers, especially in rural and periurban areas with the overreaching goals of improving livelihoods and contributing towards food security across the country.

“As we expand our touchpoints to customers through the use of new technology and by establishing new service centers and branches, we feel privileged to have access to the funds, which will enable us to serve both our existing and new customers,” he added.

Michael Kariah, Oikocredit’s Investment Officer for East and Southern Africa, said, “We are pleased to be working with Juhudi Kilimo as one of our newest long-term partners. Our missions align around supporting local communities, creating jobs, and improving food security, among other social issues in the continent. We look forward to working closely with Juhudi Kilimo to make a lasting impact in these areas.”

Oikocredit has nearly five decades of experience funding organisations active in financial inclusion, agriculture, and renewable energy. It has more than 500 partners worldwide providing loans, equity investments, and capacity building aimed at enabling people on low incomes in Africa, Asia, and Latin America to improve their living standards sustainably.

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