Juhudi Kilimo finances agricultural assets for smallholder farmers and rural enterprises across Kenya. Operating exclusively in very rural areas, they give smallholder farmers access to the tools they need to scale up and succeed.
It provides market driven, wealth-creating financial services that empower smallholder farmers and rural enterprises to create sustainable agri-businesses and improve their livelihoods.
Unlike traditional micro finance, which primarily provides loans for working capital to informal businesses, Juhudi finances specific agricultural assets that offer immediate and sustainable income for farmers. The assets act as an alternative form of collateral in case of default, reducing the farmers’ risk of greater poverty through indebtedness, and assets are insured to protect clients from harsh business losses. This comprehensive approach creates long-term gains in productivity and local engines of economic growth.
Juhudi maximizes the benefit of asset financing by providing both technical assistance and business training. Prior to each loan, officers visit the client’s farm to perform a business assessment and advise on improvements. The first four meetings of a new group are then devoted to training clients on basic finance and business. After a loan is approved officers give continued support, working with partners and local government ministries to offer targeted technical assistance on assets. To best serve rural clients, Juhudi also uses mobile technology to collect payments and feedback and reduce the burden on clients and loan officers in these remote areas.
Juhudi’s clients support each other through solidarity loan groups, and co-guarantee their loans. Led by client representatives, groups function independently but with strong support and oversight from loan officers. Loan groups serve as a central meeting place for farmers to share ideas and encouragement, learn about new products and services, and organize for access to better pricing and markets.