Equity And CFAO Join Hands To Empower Small Farmers

by Business Watch Team

Equity Group, CFAO Kenya Ltd, and CFAO Agri Limited (CFAO Group) have partnered to provide local farmers and other primary players in the agriculture value chain with easy access to farm inputs and machinery in support of enhancing food security and empowering small-scale farmers.

Through the partnership, farmers and other players within the agriculture ecosystem will continue enjoying affordable financing from Equity, therefore, offering them opportunities to purchase Case IH and Captain Tractors through the Bank’s asset finance credit facilities.

The arrangement continues to further Pillar 1 of the `Africa Recovery and Resilience’ Plan which seeks to underpin ecosystems of natural resources in agriculture to become more coordinated, connected, and capacitated supply chains, with mechanization driving higher throughput of raw materials and leading to more inclusive industrialization of Africa.

The partnership between CFAO Group and Equity will see farmers and individuals provided with up to 80% financing with flexible terms and at attractive rates with an additional option of allowing them to adjust their repayment terms based on the farming season, therefore, promoting the increased adoption of mechanization in agriculture.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Equity Group Managing Director and CEO, Dr. James Mwangi said, “We are doing everything we can to Increase agriculture production. We want to secure the values and aspirations of our people and with agriculture being 33% of Kenya’s GDP, capturing 40% of employment with 40% of that in rural areas and with almost 65% of agriculture accounting for foreign exchange, for us at Equity this is important.”

Also speaking at the partnership launch, CFAO Chairman Ambassador Dennis Awori said, “Africa is endowed with a favorable climate that allows farmers to grow food throughout the year, a potential that the private sector can tap through partnerships such as the one between CFAO and Equity Group.

Africa has lagged behind the rest of the world in agricultural productivity mainly due to low mechanization and poor agricultural practices, and we are looking forward to working with Equity Group in other countries to support the empowerment of farmers, who in turn can support the world in its broken food supply chains due to both the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine crisis,” he said. “We are with Africa, and for Africa and we must lead the private sector in the development of the continent.”

Equity has launched the “Africa Recovery and Resilience” Plan which is a Ksh 700 billion stimulus plan that aims to champion the building back better of the African economy through supporting various sectors of the economy, with agriculture productivity and ecosystem financing and development – from production to distribution to retail to customers – at its core.

CFAO Agri Chairman Thomas Bernard said CFAO aims to help farmers improve their yields and embrace commercial agriculture as opposed to practicing only subsistence farming. “I thank Equity for this relationship which will go a long way in supporting smallholder farmers. Agriculture is a risky business, and it is important that private sector stakeholders combine efforts to help hedge against the risk by providing mechanization, fertilizers, and financing,” he noted. CFAO Agri is the agribusiness division of CFAO Kenya.

The partnership between Equity and CFAO Group is a dual partnership that will see CFAO Kenya Ltd and CFAO Agri Limited collaborate with Equity’s asset finance and agribusiness units to ensure that local farmers and other agribusiness players enjoy financial access to various agricultural products and inputs.

“With the average age of Kenyans being 19, and with the critical need to scale up agriculture production for Africa and for the world at this momentous time in history, it will be difficult to convince young people that farming is an exciting and worthwhile endeavor without mechanization, digitization and new technologies and techniques which can excite them in seeing impact and productivity in the food and agriculture sector,” said Dr. Mwangi.

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