Kaliluni Farmers Cooperative Society, a farmer-based organisation in Machakos, Kenya, has secured financing worth 20,000 Euros (approximately Kshs 2.4 million) from Oikocredit International under the Innovative Finance for Improved Livelihoods (IFIL) project.
More than 1750 coffee farmers from Kaliluni Farmers’ Cooperative Society (KFCS) in Machakos county received fertilizers and agrochemicals worth Kshs 2.4 million. Under the Innovative Finance for Improved Livelihood (IFIL) initiative, members of the farmer cooperative Society (FCS) received farm inputs from We Effect, with the support of Oikocredit and the .
The funding will support smallholder coffee farmers by providing them with access to fertilizer and other farm inputs, despite the significant increase in fertilizer prices. These inputs will enhance production and increase farm yields, providing much-needed relief during this planting season. As a result, farmers will be able to overcome the challenges posed by the long drought season in the area.
This is a relief that will give us a break to focus on preparing and tending to our coffee. The fertilizer will boost our production and yields, especially since untimely access to fertilizers has hindered crop production due to rising fertilizer prices,” says Susan Nzomo, a farmer and the CEO of Kaliluni FCS.
She adds, “We are now hopeful farmers, anticipating that our farms will bring prosperity to our pockets and improve our livelihoods. Our children will now have enough food, enabling them to stay in school.”
Susan explained that low production was attributed to the adverse effects of climate change and the high cost of farm inputs. With the support of We Effect, the cooperative projects a doubling of their cherry production from 267,000 kg to over 500,000 kg.
Kaliluni Farmers’ Cooperative Society (KFCS) chairman Edwin Mulomba expressed that the loan will uplift their members and enhance coffee production. “The fertilizer is already available at the factory, and farmers will start collecting it immediately,” said Mulomba.
The IFIL 5-year pilot project aims to address the capacity limitations and opportunities of 30 farmer-based organizations (FBOs). This joint project, implemented in Kenya and Uganda, focuses on combining a loan guarantee facility with capacity-building initiatives to address the lack of access to financial services for smallholder farmers.
Elkanah Ng’ang’a, from Oikocredit, noted, “Through the Kshs 2,400,000 loan support, farmers will be able to deliver more coffee to the cooperative. In turn, the cooperative will generate income and utilize the proceeds to further develop its operations. Additionally, farmers will earn more income, thereby improving their livelihoods, which is a win for the cooperative and the smallholder farmers.
Traditional lenders often consider farmer-based organizations as high-risk clients. However, this project aims to provide them with access to finance. The success of this project will encourage other financial service providers to venture into this underserved segment. Consequently, farmers will gain access to farm inputs and increase production, leading to improved livelihoods.
It is a Sida-financed pilot project, coordinated by Act Church of Sweden and implemented in partnership with We Effect and Oikocredit.
- Sida funds the project and provides the affordable loan guarantee.
- We Effect is responsible for the capacity-building stream in the project, local coordination, learning and reach out to actors in the region.
- Act Church of Sweden coordinates the project and have the overall responsibility for monitoring, evaluation and learning.
- Oikocredit is responsible for the loans to the different FBOs (Farmer Based Organisations).