Improving access to agricultural finance by smallholder farmers in bura irrigation scheme, Kenya
AFC partnered with Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) to support capacity building activities for the farmers in the Bura Irrigation and Settlement Scheme (BISS) through an agreement signed on February 09, 2015. The ultimate aim was to improve access to agricultural finance for the scheme farmers hence improving their economic and social welfare. The primary objectives of the project were: (i) Improve financial literacy skills among smallholder farmers; (ii) Improve the technical capacity of AFC, NIB and farmer organizations to deliver and manage innovative agricultural financial services; and (iii) Develop an innovative cloud computing model that integrates real time credit delivery with agronomic dynamics on the field. Objective ii) & iii) has already been achieved through the following milestones: (i) Developed a Value Chain Structured Finance model known as Farmer Information Technology Network System (FITNES), deployed it on servers hosted by AFC and conducted successful end-to-end tests; (ii) Developed training manuals for improving the technical capacity of AFC, NIB and farmer organizations to deliver and manage the innovative agricultural financial services through FITNES; (iii) Trained 148 trainers of smallholder farmers in: financial literacy; production and marketing; governance; irrigation and Water management operations and maintenance; and gender issues in farmer’s organizations. The final stage remains to recruit 10,000 farmers into the program. .