Kenya’s Agricultural Sector Struggles with Limited Access to Credit Despite Being a Major Contributor to the Economy
Challenges facing Kenya's agricultural sector in accessing credit
So, the agricultural sector is really important in Kenya because it provides a lot of jobs and makes up a big part of the country’s money-making (this is called the GDP). However, even though it’s so important, the people who work in agriculture often have a hard time getting loans from banks.
A loan is when someone borrows money from a bank and has to pay it back later with extra money called interest. But when farmers can’t get loans, it means they can’t buy things like seeds, fertilizer, and machines that they need to grow their crops. This can make it really hard for them to make money and support their families.
In January of this year, only a small amount of the money that banks gave out as loans went to agriculture, even though it’s such an important part of the economy. The banks might be afraid to lend money to farmers because they’re not sure if the farmers will be able to pay it back. This is because farmers’ income can be unpredictable, especially if there’s not enough rain to grow their crops or if the prices for their crops are low.
On the other hand, banks are more willing to lend money to other industries like trade and manufacturing, because they’re seen as less risky. This means that these industries get more money to help them grow, while agriculture is left behind.
So, even though agriculture is really important in Kenya, it’s facing a lot of challenges. These include things like not having enough access to loans, poor market access, and unpredictable weather. The government and organizations like the World Bank are trying to help by providing farmers with cheaper loans (called concessional loans) and finding ways to make it easier for them to sell their crops.