Home Companies Family Bank gets Sh1.1bn for tea farm loans

Family Bank gets Sh1.1bn for tea farm loans

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Family Bank has received a $10 million (Sh1.1 billion) loan from Luxembourg-based eco.business Fund for onward lending to tea farmers.

The funding aims to promote sustainable farming practices including biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation.

“We are delighted by this new partnership with Family Bank. Together, we believe we can ramp up support to certified agribusiness in Kenya and ensure we contribute to biodiversity conservation, the sustainable use of natural resources and mitigate climate change and adapt to its impacts,” said eco.business Fund chairperson Jens Mackensen.

Kenya is among the world’s largest producers of tea, behind countries such as China and India, highlighting the importance of the crop to the Kenyan economy.

For example, export earnings from tea last year grew by Sh16 billion to Sh136 billion compared to 2020, helped by higher volumes and a weaker shilling, data from the Tea Board of Kenya (TBK) showed.

“This partnership is a testament to our commitment to supporting the growth of local markets, especially critical markets such as tea farming,” said Family Bank chief executive Rebecca Mbithi.

“It is through such strategic partnerships that we can support the sustainability and business continuity of SMEs in the agriculture, forestry, fishery, and tourism sectors.

Family Bank focuses on lending to small and medium-sized businesses. The lender said it will leverage its branch network to reach the farmers.

It has more than 90 branches across 32 counties and an estimated customer base of 750,000.

Eco.business Fund offers green finance to promote sustainable business practices in agriculture, aquaculture, forestry, and tourism.

The investment is expected to support the fund’s overall mission to promote business and consumption practices that contribute to biodiversity conservation and climate action (adaptation and mitigation).

Eco.business Fund is backed by Germany’s development bank KfW and Conservation International with financial support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.