Gaspard is 49, married to a farmer and has five children, all of whom attend school. He has been a rice farmer for eight years. He has requested a Kiva loan to use to meet labor costs. He plans to use the profits to pay his children's school fees and to pay for medical insurance.
The agriculture sector accounts for 37 per cent of Rwanda's gross domestic product, generates 65 per cent of Rwanda's export revenue, and employs approximately 90 per cent 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) helps underserved Rwandans by providing its clients with the necessary credit and savings capabilities required for economic transformation. It offers credit products, including group and individual loans, as well as training in business development, financial literacy and health management. UOB loan products leverage social collateral since most group members have little to no collateral.