Home Business SMEs to access affordable credit under GAIN’s Ksh 5.2B programme

SMEs to access affordable credit under GAIN’s Ksh 5.2B programme

GAIN Kenya Country Director Ruth Okowa.

The Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the nutritious food supply chain are set to access Ksh 5.2 billion in affordable credit under a five year programme by Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) Kenya.

According to GAIN Kenya Country Director Ruth Okowa, the Business Plan is expected to strengthen the country’s food nutrition efforts with target to reach seven million Kenyan at the risk of poor nutrition.

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“We are already working with SMEs that are in the food systems supply chain. We have been giving technical assistance and we will give financial assistance through grants and also in the form of cheap credit that they can ordinarily not access from commercial financial institutions,” said Okowa.

GAIN estimates that almost one in five children under five years of age in Kenya is stunted while 26pc of Kenyans are overweight. Another 23 million face severe food insecurity or undernourished.

The programme also targets to strengthen the policy environment for increased consumption of safe, affordable, nutritious and healthy foods, create demand for safe and nutritious food, advance fortification agenda through scaling up large scale fortification and biofortification in national and county governments and strengthen social inclusion, gender equity and empowerment for advancing nutrition among vulnerable groups.

“Any SMEs in the food system value chain that show stability, are innovative and interested in improving the nutrition in the country are eligible for the grant,” added Okowa.

The organization is currently working with Nyandarua, Nakuru, Mombasa, Nairobi and Machakos counties to implement the programme covering 2023 to 2027 with plans to bring more on board.

Under the programme, Nyandarua County is also targeting to increase its agriculture budget in the next financial year to support nutrition programmes and cut post harvest losses that is estimated at 40pc.

“This is an issue of budgeting. We should be able to have enough budget to mitigate these kinds of things,” said Nyandarua County Governor Moses Kiarie.

“We will have to increase money towards improvement of nutrition. As you realize, Nyandarua has about 18pc of the population is stunted which is not fair that we have a lot of food but again our people are not showing that we have the nutrients with us. So we are going to give our farmers a lot of training through the department of agriculture and cooperatives so that this information reaches every farmer in Nyandarua and also support those who need support to produce nutritional foods,” he added.

The organization says the funding will also help Kenya address key challenges which affect consumption of healthy diets, among them, high cost of healthy and nutritious foods, weak coordination and governance, low purchasing power, food systems data gap and low fortification compliance.

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