Rwandan farmers’ cooperatives will now access the financing and training they need to expand food production as the IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the private sector window of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program are set to invest $9.2 million in a program with KCB Bank for them.
With the partnership, KCB Bank Rwanda will offer affordable financing to 11 farmer cooperatives in eastern Rwanda, helping more than 12,000 small-holder famers gain access to improved seeds and fertilizer and to training in better farming practices.
The cooperatives will supply maize and soybeans to a food processing plant that aims to produce fortified cereals for people suffering from malnutrition—particularly babies and children.
“Supporting local grain production can have a significant impact on food security in Rwanda, a country where 45 percent of people live in poverty and malnutrition is widespread,” said Ethiopis Tafara, IFC Vice President for Corporate Risk and Sustainability. “IFC and GAFSP’s partnership with KCB Bank Rwanda Ltd will play an important role in expanding financing for farmers.”
KCB Bank Rwanda’s Managing Director, Maurice Toroitich, said: “Access to financing will enable farmers to improve maize and soybean productivity, earn more income, and support their families. KCB Bank Rwanda is pleased to support farmers in partnership with IFC.”
The bank’s loans will help farmers gain working capital for seeds, fertilizers, land preparation, weeding, and harvesting, among other things.
In addition, farmers will receive technical advice through a comprehensive advisory services program provided by IFC and other partners. IFC, with support from GAFSP, plans to support the construction and operation of the processing plant.