Jaki works for The Kenya Tea Development Authority (KTDA) Foundation. KTDA aims to bring a range of high-quality and affordable Barefoot Power solar lighting products to address a critical need for lighting and other basic energy uses among small-holder tea farmers in Kenya.
KTDA Foundation will accomplish this by leveraging the existing KTDA infrastructure to ensure that the solar lamps reach the farmers and that periodic payments are collected and accumulated for repayment of the loan.
Kenya Tea development Authority Foundation is a non- profit charity of the Kenya Tea Development Agency (Holdings) Limited. Its key objective is to raise funds to initiate and support programs that improve the welfare of 560,000 small-holder tea farmers in Kenya. KTDA Foundation is the vehicle through which KTDA, its subsidiary companies and factory companies carry out corporate social responsibility activities.
There are eleven (11) counties that dominate in tea growing in Kenya and where KTDA operates most of its tea factories. These are Murang’a, Meru, Kisii, Nyeri, Kiambu, Kirinyaga, Kericho, Bomet,
Nandi, Nyamira and Embu. The common denominator in all the counties is low penetration of electricity. While the national penetration is estimated at 23%, these 11 counties have an average electricity penetration of only 16%. Kerosene is used by 80% of the households in these counties as the only source of lighting.
Kerosene is expensive in use: a typical off-grid household spends over Ksh.18,000 (USD 200) per year on kerosene for lighting and mobile phone charging. Kerosene also has numerous adverse health effects on lungs and eyes, as well as fire related burns.
A Kiva loan will enable us reach over 1500 farmers with solar lighting and facilitate scale up of the program to other counties. The farmers will be able to get the solar lamps and repay the loan in installments after selling their tea to KTDA.
Partnering with Barefoot Power (www.barefootpower.com), a Kiva field Partner in Africa, will enable us access quality solar lamps and allow us to utilize the expertise that Barefoot Power has gained since its inception and put those learnings into practice.
Because Barefoot Power’s core business is not microfinance, there is some level of additional risk for lenders. Kiva’s partnership with the company is unique and unprecedented. For this reason, Kiva has not assigned the organization a risk rating.
Barefoot Power is a for-profit social enterprise dedicated to bringing solar lighting solutions to remote, low-income regions. The company offers Kiva-funded loans to its distributors and retailers to buy supplies, open stores, and sell high-quality, affordable lighting products to consumers in underserved communities. Access to renewable lighting reduces use of pricey, dangerous kerosene, and significantly improves household productivity and income potential.