The has announced a $30 million partnership with Nairobi-based to promote financial inclusion for at least two million smallholder farmers in Kenya and Rwanda.
MasterCard and KCB will each contribute $15 million to the effort, which is aimed at providing critical funding for smallholder farmers and pastoralists, 60 percent of whom are women, in the two countries. In addition to its contribution, the KCB group also will provide $200 million in credit over the next five years to small-scale farmers through its KCB MobiGro program, enabling them to access financial services such as credit, insurance and savings through their mobile phones and to share information related to crop and livestock management, pricing, and market trends. Farmers interested in participating in the program will be able to register either as individuals or through organized farmers' associations.
"The MasterCard Foundation is excited to be partnering with KCB to extend mobile-based financial services to some of the most excluded rural populations of Kenya and Rwanda," said Ann Miles, the foundation's director of financial inclusion and youth livelihoods. "This partnership will help us understand to what extent access to mobile-based financial services and agricultural information can help smallholder farmers and pastoralists achieve higher productivity and returns, thus providing them with a pathway out of poverty."