Cyprien is married with five children between the ages of one and 18. Four of his children attend school and his wife works as a maize farmer. Cyprien has been a maize farmer for 10 years. In Rwanda, the agricultural sector accounts for 37% of the country’s gross domestic product; generates 65% of its 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 for 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.
Cyprien is requesting a loan to buy more seeds, to harvest seeds, and to pay for labor costs to help him with his harvest. He plans to use the profit from his loan to pay school fees for his children.
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.