Jeanne is a rice farmer who is a widow with four children. She has been a farmer for the past nine years, and she learned rice farming from her parents.
She will use her Kiva loan to cover labor costs during rice production: nursery, transplanting, field management, guarding from birds, and then in harvesting activities.
With profits from her farming she wishes to invest in her business so that in the future she can acquire machines and tractors that will enhance her farming capacity.
The agriculture sector accounts for 37% of Rwanda's gross domestic product, generates 65% of Rwanda's export revenue, and employs approximately 90% of Rwandans (as of 2009). Despite the importance of agriculture to Rwandans and their economy, financial institutions view lending to fund agricultural activities as a high-risk proposition because the profitability of these activities is affected by weather, natural disasters, and price fluctuations.
For this reason, farmers in Rwanda remain underserved by financial institutions. Urwego Opportunity Bank is expanding into this market and is happy to provide Kiva lenders with the opportunity to support Rwandan farmers.
About Urwego Opportunity Bank of Rwanda (UOB)
Urwego Opportunity Bank (UOB) is a Rwandan bank specializing in microfinance. It offers credit products to individuals and groups interested in starting or expanding their businesses. It also offers training in business development, financial literacy and health management. Given that approximately 90% of the Rwandan population is directly or indirectly related to the agricultural sector, Kiva lenders’ funds will be used to support UOB’s agricultural loan products, which are vital to the clients living in remote areas.