At least 1, 000 smallholder poultry farmers from Kibwezi Makueni County are set to secure training and financial support from a Sh300m kitty courtesy of the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) to bolster the rearing of birds.
The lender says the Sh300m will be used to train and offer financial support which is reported to be the main challenge smallholder farmers across the country are currently facing.
Farmers can apply by dialing *225# then select open MobiGrow and accept terms and conditions, enter their identification number and personal information number of their choice. Deposit a minimum of Sh10 is required into their account to activate and receive their MobiGrow account number.
According to a recent research by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), lack of initial capital investment and access to institutional support has been ranked as major impediments hampering poultry farming in Kenya.
“Less than half of the farmers’ access institutional support services such as extension, training, credit and veterinary services,” said the report.
Through a mobile-based platform dubbed ‘KCBMobiGrow’, the lender will provide smallholder poultry farmers from Kibwezi with financial and non- financial support services.
Under the project christened, ‘From Chick to Market’, poultry farmers will access various tailor-made MobiGrow services including free training, market and price among others.
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According to KCB head of MobiGrow, Dickson Naftali, the farmers will get access to cheaper credit facilities, capital, vaccinated insured chicks, chicken feed and vaccines.
“We are focused to fast-track access to financial services which is in line with our agenda to simplify the lives of our customers to enable their progress,” said Naftali.
Makueni Deputy Governor Adelina Mwau lauded the move urging other big players in the banking sector to invest intensively in agriculture as a way of creating employment and combating food insecurity not only within the region but across the country.
KCB Group has committed Sh50bn for the next five years to be extended to smallholder farmers. This will see more start-up enterprises in the sector access credit facilities at concessionary rates.
Since its inauguration in 2018, over 400,000 digital famers have been registered transacting a whopping Sh2.4b.
FAO Animal Production and Health report estimates that keeping poultry makes a substantial contribution to household food security throughout the developing world. It helps diversify incomes and provides quality food, energy, fertilizer and a renewable asset in over 80 percent of rural households.
“FAO recognizes the important contribution that poultry can make to poverty alleviation and has programmes that focus on small-scale, low-input, family based poultry production. These programmes target the more vulnerable households especially those affected by natural disasters, HIV Aids and conflict,”