The National Bank of Kenya (NBK) and the Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation have signed a partnership to support the Farmer-Led Irrigation Development (FLID) program.

Under the partnership, irrigation farmers will be able to access financing and financial solutions to enable them to invest in irrigation equipment, dam liners, and production inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides.

Through the partnership, NBK will also support technology platforms for farmer enablement and support. They include information exchange, financial access, equipment and inputs access, produce aggregation, market information, land use and irrigation development details and management dashboards.

Speaking during the launch, NBK Managing Director George Odhiambo said the bank is committed to providing affordable financing and technical support. This is to help farmers access the necessary resources for successful irrigation farming. He added that through the partnership, NBK aims to enable farmers achieve effective and successful irrigated agricultural production alongside sustainable safe drinking water access, water harvesting and storage solutions.

“We are excited to partner with the Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation to support farmer led irrigation in achieving its full potential. This partnership aligns with our commitment to support the growth of the water and agricultural sectors which are vital components of our economy. Through affordable financing and technical assistance, we aim to help small-scale farmers access the necessary resources to enhance their irrigated agricultural production.”

Under the partnership, the Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation will provide policy guidance on the program, identify, target and register potential farmers, support the development of irrigation infrastructure as well as provide technical advice on efficient irrigation systems and technologies.

NBK will in also provide banking services for FLID projects, financial solutions for contractors and suppliers of the program. They will also provide special financing solutions for special interest groups in the program including the youth, women and persons living with disabilities.

Farmers will also receive technical assistance and training to ensure they have the necessary skills and knowledge to optimize their irrigated agricultural production.

The partnership is expected to have an impact on the agricultural sector, by increasing productivity, reducing post-harvest losses, and enhancing food and water security, and overall growth of the Kenyan economy.