Family Bank has entered into a partnership with Performeter Agribusiness Limited in a deal that will see 100,000 farmers in dairy cooperatives access to credit to finance fodder production.
Through the partnership, the Bank has set aside 1 billion shillings to facilitate industrial production of fodder by financing the fodder production activities namely; land preparation, planting, fertilization, weed control, harvesting, ensiling, baling, and transportation, up to the point where the dairy farmer receives the fodder at the farm.
“The importance of the dairy sector to Kenya’s economy cannot be underscored. The dairy sector, like any other sector, has also been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and as a result, we are experiencing low milk production in the country. This is why Family Bank in partnership with Performeter, an experienced player in the dairy sector, has set aside KES 1 billion as financing to enable farmers to access working capital and other financial services to support the dairy value chain and unlock its growth potential to the entrepreneurial dairy farmers,” said Family Bank Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Mbithi.
A stagnating dairy sector means a slowing economic development nationally. To address this, the President’s Big Four Agenda ear-marked Agriculture development as a key vehicle for economic growth.
CashCow is one of the flagship projects under the Big Four Agenda anchored on the Ministry of Agriculture Livestock Fisheries & Cooperatives and steered by the Kenya Dairy Board aimed at promoting industrial production of fodder in the country.
“Transforming Kenya’s dairy sector will require a concerted effort by key actors. The government has ample land resources that can be mobilized into industrial forage and fodder production and that will be the game-changer. A strategic intervention on fodder is the surest way to rejuvenate our dairy industry and move towards a net exporter status on milk, and as a sector, we can do this,” said CashCow Project Chief Advisor and a seasoned Industrial Economist Moses Nyabila.
The CashCow Project brings together many stakeholders in the dairy sector comprising of commercial banks, commercial fodder producers, dairy cooperatives, suppliers of seeds, fertilizer and machinery, insurers, contractors, and milk processors who will play different roles to ensure production of up to 100,000 acres of fodder for use by dairy farmers. Perfometer, a leading dairy advisory, and consulting company was assigned the leadership and coordination role in this project.
In support of this Partnership, the Kenya Dairy Board Managing Director Mrs. Margaret Kibogy applauded Family Bank for setting aside a significant portfolio to finance the fodder value chain and called upon other financiers and development partners to support the CashCow project especially with the technical assistance required across the chain.
“I urge the fodder producers to apply the most efficient production technologies so as to get the most value at the lowest costs possible, and for the dairy farmers to get the right advice on feeding their cows so that at the sector level, we can reap the benefit of the accelerated fodder production efforts’’ she added as she reiterated Kenya Dairy Board’s commitment to steer the CashCow Project jointly with Perfometer.