Kenya has received world-wide recognition as leader in financial innovation. This is a laudable achievement because finance holds the potential to unlock solutions to the real-world problems that Kenyans face in their daily lives.
FSD Kenya set out to explore ways of using finance to build livelihoods of poor households in Kitui. The survey identified indigenous poultry and pulses as the agriculture value chains with the greatest opportunity for low-income households.
I spent a week in Kenya, courtesy of Financial Sector Deepening, an initiative of a number of aid agencies, including Britain’s Department for International Development, the Swedish government, and the Gates Foundation.
This year, the price of a kilo of tea reached a five-year high. Every October, tea farmers in Kenya receive a “tea bonus”; the second lump sum payment for tea delivered to the Kenya Tea Development Authority (KTDA) during the year. The first lump sum, the “mini bonus”, is paid each April.
To increase access to finance in the agricultural sector, various players have implemented initiatives to help smallholder farmers and pastoralists to access financial solutions. The many initiatives over time have had varying degrees of success.