There are various schemes and financial help from the national and county governments in Kenya. These funds target startups, individuals, cooperative societies, Private Ltd companies, partnerships, and public limited companies. Other funding types are specifically for registered societies such as women and youth groups, community-based organizations, and research bodies like universities
In this post, learn how to access free funding and cheap government loans for farmers in Kenya. You will explore subsidies, affirmative loans, AFC financing, and grants.
Kenya’s government has implemented various farmers’ subsidies, including input and insurance subsidies. They can be a source of your funding helping you access financial and quality inputs at a discount. You will need to be registered with the Ministry of Agriculture to receive this assistance.
To access a subsidy like fertilizer in 2023, a farmer has to register on the e-voucher system through their phone by dialing *707#. You will be asked to give your details on the size of the land and the type of fertilizer that you need. Then you will have to pay some money via Mpesa or Airtel Money and get issued an e-voucher. You will use the electronic receipt to collect the fertilizer from the nearest NCPB depot. The assistant chiefs and county agriculture officers can help in this process.
The current subsidies you can target are;
- Inorganic fertilizer subsidies to increase national maize productivity, improve food security, and lower the cost of living
- Certified seeds subsidy to improve maize, wheat, potatoes, rice, and other food crops yields
- Kenya Livestock Insurance Program (KLIP), is a subsidy that provides insurance for vulnerable pastoral households in ASAL counties.
- Crop Insurance Subsidies: The Crops Department national subsidy targets 1m plus crop farmers against weather shocks such as droughts and diseases across across27 counties.
- County Agriculture Subsidies like the Kiambu County subsidy that donated 120,000 one-month-old improved Kienyeji chicks in 2023 and the Muranga County subsidy that provided quality maize seeds and drought-resistant crops such as Soya, sweet potato, and Katumani beans from 2014
The Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) in Kenya provides diverse loans to empower farmers and boost agriculture. The AFC’s range of loans aims to support farmers, stimulate agricultural investment, and promote financial inclusion, especially for women in agriculture
The firm offers you various loan types as follows;
- Seasonal Crop Credit for seasonal crops and Cash Crop Loans for cash crops like sugarcane.
- Agribusiness Products that provide start-up capital for farmers and food traders
- Asset Finance Loans assist in acquiring assets.
- Greenhouse Financing offers personalized farming solutions.
- Modernization Loans aid livestock and crop producers in upgrading their operations.
Affirmative loans for youth and women farmers are a common initiative in Kenya. They are supported by various government programs. These loans are designed to address historical disadvantages and promote inclusivity in economic activities. Some of the government bodies that are giving loans to farmers in Keny are;
- Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF): The YEDF offers affordable loans, training, and mentorship programs to empower young people in various sectors, including agriculture, services, and manufacturing.
- Women Enterprise Fund (WEF): The WEF provides financial resources, training, and capacity-building programs to support women in starting or expanding their businesses including agriculture ideas.
- Uwezo Fund: The Uwezo Fund is a program aimed at supporting women, youth, and persons with disabilities. It provides affirmative loans to groups at the constituency level, encouraging collaborative efforts and community development.
- Hustler Fund: It is a digital initiative that offers affordable and accessible financial services like credit, savings, insurance, pension, and investment products, focusing on underserved individuals and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Kenya
- County Government Funds: Similarly, some counties have established revolving and fund aids that you can target. some notable ones are;
- Other government programmes; Other bodies that offer agriculture financing include
- Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC)– offers venture capital, joint ventures, commercial loans and asset financing.
- Kenya Industrial Estates (KIE)– provides industrial sheds, subsidizes credit, and improves the entrepreneurial skills of small to medium-sized enterprises.
- Industrial Development Bank (IDB)-IDB will assist you in establishing or expanding your business. it offers secured loans for medium and large industrial enterprises.
Government bodies such as Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO) have grants for small-scale farmers from time to time. The subgrantees in turn will work with small-holder farmers, pastoralists, and fisher folk.
To increase your chances of grant proposal writing, showcase that you’re innovative, and need-based and promote agribusiness along the value chain continuum from pre-production, production, processing, storage, trading, logistics, and consumption. As with any form of proposal application for grant funding, it will require a lot of preparatory research and planning on your part. It will help you to order and establish your plan of action and demonstrate to the reviewers that your project would be a wise and fruitful one to fund.
As a farmer, you may indirectly access quality farm inputs such as seeds, organic fertilizers, or agrivoltaic greenhouses. You will end up accessing high yields and enjoy technological transfer.