The eco.business Fund has extended $5 million loan (Ksh.805 million), to Family Bank Kenya to strengthen sustainability-certified companies, small-holder farmers, and other agribusiness value chain actors who are adopting eco-friendly and climate-smart approaches.
This investment follows a previous one in 2022, where the fund invested $10 million in the bank to foster sustainable practices in agribusiness value chains.
“We are delighted to strengthen this promising partnership with Family Bank Kenya. Together, we aspire to enhance support for agribusinesses in Kenya, playing a pivotal role in biodiversity conservation, sustainable resource utilization, and climate change mitigation and adaptation in this biodiverse region,” said Michael Evers, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the eco.business Fund.
Despite agriculture contributing 33 percent of the Gross Domestic Product in Kenya, the vast majority of Kenya’s 7.5 million smallholder farmers still live on less than$6 a day, just half the country’s living-income threshold, according to the International Fund for Agricultural Development.
Acting Family Bank CEO Nancy Njau stressed the need for the agricultural sector to sustainable development.
“As a homegrown Bank, we have been deliberate in widening our capital base and scaling up lending to this sector, particularly through partnerships,” she said.
The partnership with the eco.business fund has led to an increase of 25 per cent in the bank’s agribusiness portfolio.
“We are confident that now we can scale up lending to agribusinesses and bridge their financial need to scale climate-smart agriculture technologies to enhance climate resilience,” Njau added.
This investment aims to establish a consistent demand from developed markets by backing certified and sustainable agricultural producers in crucial exporting nations like Kenya.
“We are impressed with the growth potential and dedication of Family Bank as it has managed to not only grow but diversify its portfolio significantly since the beginning of our partnership. We’re glad to keep supporting them on their growth journey through financing and tailored technical assistance in areas like implementing a robust Environmental and Social Risk Management System (ESMS), and overall strategy implementation,” said Maxine Chehab, Investment Manager at the fund.
The eco.business Fund aims to promote business and consumption practices that contribute to biodiversity conservation, to the sustainable use of natural resources, and to mitigate climate change and adapt to its impacts in Latin America, the Caribbean, and sub-Saharan Africa.
It also seeks investments with both environmental and financial returns, providing financing through local financial institutions committed to the fund’s mission and directly to its target group.