European Union gives Sh1.3b in farming support
A development organisation which promotes farmers has unlocked Sh1.3 billion funding from partners to support farmer-led initiatives at the county level.
The European Union (EU) and SlovakAid have supported programmes to be implemented under the AgriFI Kenya Challenge Fund, with 24 agro-businesses set benefit by end of this year.
Recipients of the award will also include manufacturers of solar-powered irrigation systems, providers of transport leasing and producers of bio-fertilisers.
The Country director of Self Help Africa Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) implementing the programme, Rebecca Amukhoye, said the grants are a great relief to the sector as banks often deny credit to farmers on claims agriculture is a risky investment.
The EU Ambassador to Kenya Simon Mordue said the first batch of eight beneficiaries had received their awards while the second and third groups will be awarded before the year end. Each batch of eight will get Sh460 million (Sh1.38 billion in total) for business expansion, said Mordue.
Congratulating the recipients, the envoy applauded the EU’s long-standing relationship with Kenya on the development agenda.
“Each of the chosen firms, which operate in different sectors, will impact on more than 50,000 smallholder farmers. They will strengthen different value chains, thus increasing incomes for farmers and producing more food for the country,” he said.
The AgriFI Kenya Challenge Fund is in the process of finalising the appraisal of second round calls for applications and bring in the next set of successful companies in the second week of December, 2019.
The third call for proposals is currently open and will be closing on December 20. The eight successful companies are expected to reach 50,000 smallholders and create 3,800 jobs.