Jean is 61 years old. He is married with six children, aged between 2 and 26 years. He and his wife together are rice farmers, and they have spent more than twenty years in the farming sector. With the loan, he wants to buy more fertilizers for use in the rice production. The profits from the rice farming will be used to buy a motorcycle for use in transportation.
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.
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) 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.