Liberta is 32 years old. She is married and has two children, age 7 and 9, who go to school. She has been a farmer for the past 15 years.
She will use the Kiva loan to support labor costs and fertilizer during maize production; she needs to buy fertilizers in order to increase her production. With profits from her farming, she wishes to invest in her business so that in the future, she can acquire machines like tractors that will enhance her farming capacity.
The photo was taken recently at the previous maize plantation and says that the last season went well. The agriculture sector accounts for 37 percent of Rwanda's gross domestic product, generates 65 percent of Rwanda's export revenue, and employs approximately 90 percent 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 under-served 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.
More information about this loan
This loan is part of Urwego Opportunity Bank's program targeting farmers who are members of cooperatives. All borrowers benefiting from these loans receive financing, as well as seed and fertilizer from the Rwandan government. This Kiva loan will thus be used to provide borrowers with needed goods or services, as opposed to cash or financial credit. The loan is also covered by insurance in case of crop failure.
Without flexible, risk-tolerant capital provided by lenders like you, Urwego Opportunity Bank would not be able to offer this type of loan. This is critical in Rwanda where 85% of the population is employed in agriculture, but many formal financial institutions consider the sector to be too risky to invest. By funding this loan, you are expanding opportunity to farmers with limited options.
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.