Agriculture finance problems 'holding back Kenyan farmers'

Mar 19, 2010

A lack of supporting agriculture finance is limiting the development of many small-holder farmers in Kenya, the Governor of the country's central bank argues.

Speaking at a one-day forum titled Growing Agriculture Through Finance, Professor Njuguna Ndung'u urged banks to increase their lending to the sector, which is responsible for almost a quarter (24 per cent) of the country's gross domestic product.

He called for the development of new policy covering finance for agricultural infrastructure, which would focus on providing crop insurance and funding, along with investment in storage methods and improving accessibility of the current credit policy. "From the central bank side, our support in this initiative is important," Professor Ndung'u told attendees.

He explained the capacity building arm of the bank - the Kenya School of Monetary Studies - is to create a new agricultural finance programme that will help with the development of farm cash-flows, finance, insurance and risk management.

The bank, which was established in 1966, has an eight-member Board of Directors, who are responsible for formulating all non-monetary related policies.