In a bold and visionary move, Absa Bank Kenya Plc is charting a transformative path to empower small-scale farmers within the maize, dairy, and horticulture sub-sectors through an intensive and comprehensive training program. This initiative is set to equip farmers with invaluable strategies to curtail post-harvest losses, bolster their financial literacy, and elevate their agricultural practices. In this article, we will delve into the details of this groundbreaking initiative and its potential to revolutionize the agricultural landscape in Kenya.
A Strategic Partnership for Transformation:
Absa Bank Kenya has joined forces with Perfometer Agribusiness (PA), an agribusiness consulting company with a track record of supporting dairy investors and fostering profitable dairy enterprises. Together, they are embarking on a journey to uplift small-scale farmers, starting with dairies in Kiambu, Murang’a, and Kirinyaga counties in the inaugural phase. Subsequent training sessions will extend their reach to cereal and pulse farmers in the Western region of the country.
Beyond Financial Support:
Absa’s keen focus on agriculture forms a vital part of its broader mission to expand its presence in this sector, where it faces notable competition from other financial institutions like Equity Bank Limited, Co-operative Bank of Kenya, Family Bank Ltd, and credit unions. However, Absa’s approach goes far beyond financial support. It aspires to provide practical, tangible solutions to the myriad challenges faced by farmers, particularly in addressing the issue of post-harvest losses.
Daniel Munyambu, the bank’s country agriculture business specialist, emphasized that Absa’s commitment to farmers is unwavering and without preset financial limits. He shared, “We do not have a limit of the amount of money we are going to extend to the farmers as our focus is to deepen our intention in the agriculture sector.” This profound commitment underscores Absa’s primary objective: to deepen its engagement with the agricultural sector and provide holistic solutions that transcend financial assistance.
A Holistic Approach to Agricultural Advancement:
For Absa Bank, the shift is not solely about financial aid but rather about offering farmers practical solutions to the multifaceted challenges they face. This includes addressing the critical matter of reducing post-harvest losses. Munyambu, speaking during a training session for dairy farmers in Murang’a County, stated, “As a bank, our new focus is not only providing financial needs but equally offering farmers solutions to other challenges they are grappling with.”
Expansion and Diversification:
In the program’s second phase, Absa Bank, as confirmed by Munyambu, will expand its efforts to encompass several other dairy processors and dairy co-operative societies in various counties. The bank’s dedication to the betterment of the agricultural sector will also extend to cereal and pulse farmers in the Western region of the country, opening up a realm of possibilities for these vital industries.
A Collaborative Approach to Farmer Empowerment:
Sila Maosa, Project Manager with Perfometer Agribusiness, attested to the significant role his company is playing in this transformative initiative. Perfometer Agribusiness is set to train 500 dairy farmers across the country, focusing on key aspects such as feeding programs, cow protection structures, coping with adverse climatic conditions, and the adoption of good agricultural practices. Importantly, the knowledge imparted to these farmers will enable them to become catalysts for change, as they, in turn, can educate and empower their fellow farmers.
Absa Bank Kenya Plc’s launch of this dynamic training program is not just an event—it’s a milestone in the journey of Kenya’s agricultural sector. By providing small-scale farmers with invaluable tools, strategies, and knowledge, this initiative is set to cultivate a new era of prosperity, sustainability, and empowerment. As these farmers embrace the opportunities offered, they will not only transform their own lives but also the agricultural landscape of Kenya, ensuring a brighter and more bountiful future for all.
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