BANKING ON AGRICULTURE: EAST AFRICA’S LARGEST COMMERCIAL BANK ANNOUNCES SUPPORT FOR AGRICULTURAL TRANSFORMATION

KCB Group’s Kshs10 Million Investment To Boost The Agricultural Sector

Nairobi, 23 August 2016 – The ongoing African agricultural transformation efforts today received a major boost with the announcement by the KCB Group of US$100,000 towards the hosting of the upcoming African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF).

The landmark Forum, hosted by H.E Uhuru Kenyatta, the President of Kenya, will be held from 5 to 9 September 2016 at the African UN Headquarters in Nairobi, to advance policies and secure the investments that will ensure a better life for millions of Africa’s smallholders farmers and families – 70% of the population.

This year’s Forum, themed: “Seize the Moment: Africa Rising through Agricultural Transformation” is expected to be the largest AGRF to date with over 1,500 delegates including African Heads of State, top CEOs, heads of development agencies, farmers organizations, youth and women groups among others expected to attend.

The one-week event has been designed to showcase examples of transformation in agriculture in action and to promote efforts to drive and achieve scale and to foster accelerated impact.

The forum’s objectives resonate with the values of the KCB Group which, as the largest commercial bank in the East African region and with 120 years experience, has been at the center of driving the growth of the agricultural sector, making deliberate investments to commercialize the sector and elevate it into a top driver of economic expansion.

“KCB Group and AGRF share common goals and values such as the vision of advancing African agriculture to a desirable level especially within the next decade in order to achieve 100 per cent food security and sustainability which is part of the Sustainable Development Goals to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture,” said KCB Group Chief Operating Officer, Samuel Makome.

Speaking as she received the check on behalf of AGRF, Dr. Agnes Kalibata, President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), commended the KCB Group for it’s leadership in the banking sector in support of African smallholder farmers.

“Financial institutions are key in mobilizing private financing necessary for a sustainable agriculture transformation. We are delighted to receive this support from the KCB group to organize AGRF – Africa’s premier agriculture platform – where private and public partners will meet to prioritize investment in the agricultural sector for inclusive growth and development,” said Dr. Kalibata.

At the AGRF, the KCB Group will join African Governments and other institutions like the African Development Bank (AfDB) USAID, OCP, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation?in making investment commitments to boost the agriculture sector. In the long-term, the Bank will facilitate capacity building of the financial and agricultural value chains in order to develop delivery mechanisms such as branchless banking, ICT tools and intermediaries that will enable both value chains to work together.

The Bank has been consistent in its commitment to improving the agriculture sector. It recently launched a Kshs3 billion partnership with MasterCard foundation targeting 2 million farmers aimed at promoting financial inclusion in both Kenya and Rwanda. In addition, KCB Group will spend Kshs20 billion in credit to farmers under a programme called KCB MobiGro, as part of its effort in reimagining and redefining the agricultural sector through technology supported agribusiness. The programme will provide critical funding for smallholder farmers and pastoralists in the largely unbanked agricultural sector in the two countries.

KCB and AGRA have in the last few months been engaged in a US$ 319,000 partnership whose aim was to prove the concept of mobile based agriculture financial solutions through MobiGro. The inclusion of MasterCard Foundation into the program will help upscale the solution to farmers across Kenya and Rwanda.

“Nonetheless, this is just the beginning, more needs to be done as we encourage other players in the banking sector to play their part in ensuring agriculture standards in the country and region grow. KCB Group will continue to spearhead these developments to ensure agriculture as a sector thrives,” said Mr. Makome.