Equity Group, CFAO Kenya Ltd, and CFAO Agri Limited-the agribusiness division of CFAO Kenya- have entered into a deal that will among others see farmers provided with up to 80 per cent financing that will enable them to purchase farm inputs and machinery such as tractors.
The three entities seek 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 to farm the future.
Under the financing plan, farmers can adjust their repayment terms based on the farming season, promoting the increased adoption of mechanization in agriculture.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Equity Group Managing Director and CEO, James Mwangi said the firm is focused on increasing agriculture production and will leverage the footprint of CFAO which is present in 53 African countries.
“We want to secure the values and aspirations of our people and with agriculture being 33 per cent of Kenya’s GDP, capturing 40 per cent of employment with 40 per cent of that in rural areas and with almost 65 per cent of agriculture accounting for foreign exchange, for us at Equity this is important,” James Mwangi.
CFAO Chairman Ambassador Dennis Awori said the company is keen on supporting 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.
“Africa is endowed with a favourable 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, “Dennis Awori.
CFAO Agri Chairman Thomas Bernard said CFAO aims to help farmers improve their yields and embrace commercial agriculture as opposed to practising 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,” Thomas Bernard.