Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Eco.Business Fund and Family Bank partner to strengthen agricultural lending capacity in Kenya through training

The Development Facility of the eco.business Fund has partnered with Family Bank in Kenya to offer specialized agrifinance training to Family Bank staff to optimize the bank’s capacity to reach sustainable agri-businesses and better identify eligible sub-borrowers.

The agriculture sector is vital both to Family Bank and the Kenyan economy. Therefore, the fund has identified several activities to boost the bank’s agricultural lending capacity including tailored training on lending to the agricultural sector.

The new training program is in line with the Development Facility’s technical assistance mandate to build staff capacity and implement credit assessment technologies.

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Ms Lisa Stahl, Chairperson of the eco.business Development Facility for sub-Saharan Africa stated:

“The agricultural sector is key in addressing climate change mitigation but has often been viewed by the banking industry as too risky, which finds us in a scenario where too little attention is given to such a vital sector.

Working with strategic partners like Family Bank and enhancing the credit risk and business teams’ capabilities will go a long way in boosting agrifinance opportunities across the country.”

More than 100 staff of Family Bank across different departments; including business development, relationship management, and credit analysis, have been trained on various topics such as agricultural value chain finance, risk management and climate-smart agriculture.

A quarter of all trainees are women. The training has been tailored to the needs of Family Bank and took place in different Family Bank regions across Kenya, namely Embu, Nakuru, Nairobi, Kericho, and Mombasa.

“As a Bank, our focus has been to accelerate businesses to the next level by extending credit. However, to better achieve this we are committed to driving value to critical sectors of our economy such as the agricultural sector.

Therefore, by offering such capacity-development trainings to our staff, we are equipping them with further technical expertise to better expose agribusiness entrepreneurs to the growth opportunities that lie in the sector,”

said Family Bank Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Mbithi.

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About the eco.business Fund

The eco.business Fund aims to promote business and consumption practices that contribute to biodiversity conservation, to the sustainable use of natural resources, and to mitigate climate change and adapt to its impacts in Latin America and the Caribbean, and sub-Saharan Africa.

The fund pursues its mission by providing dedicated financing and technical assistance to financial institutions and businesses committed to sustainability and focuses on four economic sectors: agriculture and agri-processing, fishery and aquaculture, forestry, and sustainable tourism.

By leveraging the power of blended finance, the fund is able to amplify its impact and outreach by drawing its capital from various layers and investing either via financial intermediaries or directly in businesses.

An impact investment fund advised by Finance in Motion, the eco.business Fund was initiated by Germany’s KfW Development Bank and Conservation International with financial support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Union.

The fund’s impact management system, through its advisor, Finance in Motion, underwent an independent verification by impact auditor BlueMark affirming strong Operating Principles for Impact Management alignment in 2021.

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