KENYA – The Agri-Business Capital Fund (ABC Fund), managed by Bamboo Capital Partners, Injaro and Agriterra has issued an invest totalling EUR 6.4 million across four microfinance providers in Mali, Kenya and Uganda.
The recent investments are focused on tackling poverty and improving the lives and livelihoods of smallholder farmers.
The disbursement comprises of EUR 2.4 million and EUR 1 million to the savings and credit cooperatives Nyesigiso in Mali and EBO in Uganda repectively, as well as EUR 2 million and EUR 1 million to the Kenya-based credit-only microfinance institutions Premier Credit Kenya and Yehu.
“It gives us great pleasure to support four true game changers in Africa and enable these financial institutions to further support economic prosperity of its beneficiaries and contribute to the employment and empowerment of women and young people, impacting their wider communities,” Jean-Philippe de Schrevel, Founder and Managing Partner of Bamboo Capital Partners said.
Nyesigiso is a network of rural savings and credit cooperatives operating in Mali, which collects savings from members and provides them loans and microcredits.
With over 260,000 members and a presence in six of Mali’s nine regions, the co-operative is the country’s second largest microfinance institution with one of the largest rural farmers networks. Today, over 60% of loans are short term, with a tenure of less than 9 months.
The ABC Fund’s financing will help provide longer term facilities to members and increase the agriculture portfolio size by a third.
It will also help increase financing for specific food crops which are currently under financed in the country including rice, potato, onions and maize.
Meanwhile, EBO is a savings and credit cooperative society (SACCO) with nearly 48,000 members, which provides sustainable financial services to almost 12,000 borrowers, most of whom are smallholder farmers operating predominantly in the agriculture and food crops sector in rural Uganda.
Out of EBO’s six branches, five are based in rural towns servicing clients engaged primarily in agriculture activities. More than half of EBO’s active borrowers are women.
The cash injection from the ABC Fund will enable it to provide more than two thousand new loans to smallholder farmers.
Kenya’s Yehu is a credit-only microfinance institution that provides financial services to disadvantaged communities in rural areas.
The company currently serves more than 30,000 clients, almost a quarter of which are operating in agriculture. Its clients are predominantly women (92%) while almost a third (32%) are young people. Between 2021 and 2025, Yehu plans to increase its agriculture exposure and develop products and partnerships to support the growing number of women and young people interested in working in the agribusiness sector.
Around 5,000 women are expected to receive a loan from Yehu over the tenure of the facility.
The organization also plans to create an educational programme to help clients with weather and climate related risk mitigation strategies as well as expanding its own team.
Its counterpart Premier Credit Kenya, is a credit-only microfinance institution which provides credit to individuals and SMEs in the East African Nation.
The company employs over 1,300 people, 87% of whom are young and 69% are women. With over half branches located in rural areas, the company plans to expand into the agriculture sector.
Currently, 87% of Premier Credit’s agriculture clients are involved in crops or in food security related value chains such as dairy and poultry.