Small-scale farmers in Uasin Gishu have a reason to smile after the county renewed its contract with Apollo Agriculture.
County Agriculture Executive Samuel Yego while signing the contract extension on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, said the move will allow farmers to continue benefiting from advice and inputs in terms of loans from the company.
Apollo Agriculture has been operating in Uasin Gishu since 2020, and according to Yego, it has so far supported at least 24,000 households and offered over Ksh755,000 loans to farmers.
“The support has been in relation to over 52,000 acres of maize in the county,” said the County Executive Committee Member (CECM).
He noted that the entry of the company came as a relief to many farmers who depended on loans from the Agricultural Finance Cooperation (AFC).
AFC is a government organization that offers Loan Products to Farmers all over Kenya, through its branches spread across the county. It has however been facing financial challenges due to limited government funding.
“Most of our farmers have been depending on AFC loans and Apollo Agriculture has come in to compliment it. We encourage the private sector to support production,” Yego said.
Peter Muthee, Marketing Manager Apollo Agriculture who signed the contract renewal said they are considering supporting farmers with more acreage.
Currently, the program is targeted at farmers between 0.5 acres to 3 acres.
“We can expand the acreage depending on the repayment behavior of the farmers. We have a good repayment rate of 91 percent and still looking forward to the 10 percent clearing their balance,” Muthee said.
“We want to commercialize small-holder farmers,” he added.
Aside from advice and loans to farmers, the company has also partnered with other organizations to offer crop insurance services.
So far it is operating in at least 21 counties and is targeting to support at least 200,000 farmers this season.