Farmers can now access unsecured loans via mobile phones, thanks to FarmDrive
The agricultural sector is the backbone to Kenya’s economy, yet banks have very little incentive to work with farmers. Financial institutions cite that the agricultural sector is a high risk sector and for this reason they shy off from offering loans.
Although there are increasing efforts to support farmers in Kenya, the role of commercial banks in agricultural finance remains minimal. Reasons cited by banks include the risky nature of agriculture, low financial literacy among smallholders, and difficulty in determining their creditworthiness.
Now farmers have access to a simple, yet powerful SMS/Android mobile app that allows farmers to apply for and receive loans via mobile money wherever they are, track their revenues and expenses, and view reports on their farming and economic activities. With this application, farmers can monitor their agri-businesses more efficiently, while becoming more creditworthy at the same time.
Developed by FarmDrive. FarmDrive is a Kenyan-based social enterprise that connects unbanked and underserved smallholder farmers to credit, while helping financial institutions cost effectively increase their agricultural loan portfolios. Using simple mobile phone technology, alternative data sets, and sophisticated data analytics, FarmDrive is closing the critical information gap that keeps smallholder farmers from loans that would allow them to grow and diversify their businesses..
To score farmers within any farming vertical and geographical region, FarmDrive’s credit scoring algorithm aggregates numerous streams of alternative data, including data from the app, environmental data, and agronomic data. This comprehensive algorithm generates credit scores and decisioning tools that allow financial institutions to develop loan products that fit the economic and agronomic needs of smallholder farmers.
In 2016 FarmDrive registered 3000 farmers throughout 16 counties, and facilitated over KES 15 million in loans. Farmers who received loans through FarmDrive are now on their second and third loans, increasing their incomes and productivity with each loan.
To access this services SMS “FD to 21342 and follow the steps outlined.