Equity Group Foundation has set aside Sh20bn to fund a 5-year project dubbed the Agriculture Entrepreneurship Accelerator Programme. The objective of the project is to convert farming into commercial ventures.
The beneficiaries of the project, who are farmers with 10 to 100-acre farms, will receive Sh1 million to increase the commercial viability of their farms.
“Basing on the success that we have had on our pilot study, I can say confidently that we are going to spend up to Sh20 billion in the next five years under this programme,” Equity CEO James Mwangi said.
Equity bank and the embassy of the Netherlands have been operating a 3-year Agriculture Entrepreneurship Accelerator Programme costing Sh341 million that targets medium-sized farmers in Central, Rift Valley, and Eastern regions.
Alleviating the Challenges Faced By Farmers
Equity’s CEO said the foundation will continue working with industry stakeholders who will help out with the challenges hindering farmers from increasing farm income. Production facilitation will involve training farmers in soil health and crop management, water management, post-harvest handling, and dairy production.
Mwangi observed that by improving the agricultural value chain among farmers, it will guarantee food security in the country.
“Improved agricultural productivity must be coupled with increased resilience to climate change and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, for agriculture to deliver on its full potential, value chains must be strengthened,” the Netherlands ambassador, Frans Makken stated.
The ambassador said the Netherlands will continue to promote organisations that are keen to help farmers.
Last year, Equity bank and the Ministry of Agriculture signed an agreement of Sh300 million to fund farmers under the second phase of the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme (ACGS) which the government has offered collateral.