Joseph is married with three children between 9 and 21 years old. All three are enrolled in school. His wife works as a farmer. He has been a rice farmer for eight years. He would like this Kiva loan to buy fertilizers and seeds, and to hire support labor to get the best harvest. With the profits, he plans to expand the area he has been using to get more output and build another house. In the picture, there are other agriculture borrowers behind him reading the Kiva forms.
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 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.
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.