Dutch-based global cooperative, Oikocredit, has approved a five-year loan of US$ 5 million (KES 750 million) to Juhudi Kilimo, a non-deposit-taking microfinance institution (MFI) in Kenya, as part of a strategic funding agreement aimed at empowering 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 individuals in underserved communities.
Juhudi Kilimo has an outstanding loan book of KES 2.5 billion, with more than 84 per cent dedicated to the agricultural sector. 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. It serves 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 centres 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.”