Fact finding on farmdrive

Website


Business and mission

a Kenyan enterprise, connects unbanked and underserved smallholder farmers to credit, while helping financial institutions cost-effectively increase their agricultural loan portfolios.

Management

CEO : Rita Kimani

Problem they solve

The founders believed that the general lack of productivity on the farms in their communities stemmed from a lack of capital. But in speaking to farmers, they realized the main problem was that these smallholders didn’t qualify for loans because the banks were using criteria that didn’t work for smallholders.

When banks consider someone for a loan, they want to see a credit history and some collateral. Smallholders farmers have neither as they don’t have enough wealth to own assets and rarely have business records as they tend to mix their home incomes and expenses with those from the farm

How they solve it ?

FarmDrive is solving this issue by generating credit scores for farmers for banks to use to loan to them. It does so by using data input by farmers into its smartphone and SMS mobile app — an app that helps farmers to track their revenues and expenses — as well as satellite, agronomic and local economic data. By analyzing these datasets, FarmDrive’s algorithm is able to generate credit scores for farmers.

Why is this a company to watch and follow ?

It’s good timing for FarmDrive too as governments realize the need to increase farmer access to financing. In September, the President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta pledged $200 million in government funding to the industry particularly to benefit young farmers and entrepreneurs and help them access markets, adopt mechanization, and improve agriculture value addition and agro-processing in the country. The Kenya Commercial Bank also announced it had set aside $300 million to fund agricultural activities in Kenya at the event, and Uhuru called on other African leaders to prioritize the industry.

 

What will improve their contribution to Inclusive Growth

Under analysis