Sunday, February 14, 2010

A New Kenyan Partner! Juhudi Kilimo!

Kiva is excited to announce our newest field partner in Kenya! Juhudi Kilimo is an innovative, for-profit social enterprise based in Nairobi with seven branches in rural communities across Kenya.

Farming is the backbone of the Kenyan economy and it’s typically carried out by small producers who usually cultivate no more than two hectares (about five acres) using limited technology. These poor, rural smallholder farmers are in dire need of financial services. Juhudi works with these farmers to directly finance dairy cows, chickens, agricultural equipment, and other assets that are specifically chosen to create immediate cash flow. The most popular asset is the dairy cow, which range in price from Kshs 40,000 to Kshs 80,000 ($500-1000). Local breeds produce only 2-4 liters per day, while the breeds financed through Juhudi can produce anywhere from 12 to 20 liters per day, a big boost to daily income.

Juhudi also provides a range of other services to create sustainable growth for farmers. Dairy cows are insured through Juhudi’s partners to prevent devastating business losses. Targeted technical assistance is provided, from agricultural training on high-yield dairy farming to basic bookkeeping and local market research. Juhudi also supports its clients and their families by offering life insurance and access to a medical aid program.

Juhudi, now an independent organization, has an established five-year track record as a program within K-Rep Development Agency, an antipoverty NGO that performs research and product development for the microfinance sector. Through K-Rep, this initiative provided financing to over 7,000 smallholder farmers, 46% of them women.

Juhudi has already begun to post loans on Kiva and you can join their Kiva Lending Team here: Friends of Juhudi Kilimo.