Financing Agriculture Sustainably Conference (FINAS 2024)

Theme: Positioning Kenya for Resilient Agricultural Enterprises.

The Mastercard Foundation Fund for Resilience and Prosperity recently participated in the Financing Agriculture Sustainably (FINAS) Conference 2024 held between 27 – 28th March 2024 in Nairobi, Kenya. FINAS brings together actors in the agricultural sector ranging from the Government, Financial Sector, Agribusiness SMEs, and Development partners among other stakeholders to engage on financing the sector and on the appropriate models for funding agricultural activities. The conversations aim to bring out challenges that will inform subsequent discussions by financial service providers and beneficiaries. The event discussions centred on designing financing instruments relevant to the wide range of beneficiaries as well as de-risking the agriculture sector to attract various forms of financing. 

The Fund Portfolio Manager for East and Central Africa, John Kavilu, Research Manager, Martha Kamigwi, Grants, Finance and Operations Manager, Winfred Kinuthia, Grants Manager, Martha Ouma, and Grants and Finance Associate, Felix Muia attended the event to create awareness on the Mastercard Foundation Fund for Resilience and Prosperity and the just launched Agribusiness Challenge Fund among relevant stakeholders.

From the keynote address from the Prime Cabinet Secretary and Minister for Agriculture, Hon. Musalia Mudavadi and Hon. Mithika Linturi respectively to other panel sessions throughout the need for collaboration between the government and the private sector in ensuring agriculture is financed sustainable was emphasised. The need to also include the agribusiness value chain from primary producers to aggregators, distributors and processors was also brough out as a way to ensure proper design and implementation of financing instruments.

Grants Manager, Martha Ouma presented on the Fund and the different interventions and how this are aligned with the goal of financing agriculture sustainably. She guided the delegates on FRP’s application process and timelines as well as the eligibility criteria. 

The Grants, Finance and Operations Manager, Winfred Kinuthia was a panellist in a panel titled ‘Funding Instruments to Support Climate Adaptation & Mitigation in the Agricultural Sector –Making it Work’ moderated by Daniel Munyambu, Country Agribusiness Specialist, ABSA Bank Kenya PLC. Winfred participated alongside Jared Ochieng, Senior Agriculture Specialist, FSD-Kenya, Ms Veronica Ndetu, Environmental Institute of Kenya (EIK), and Kennedy Mugambi, Tax Advisor at KPMG. The discussion focused on how funding instruments can be leveraged to support climate adaptation and mitigation efforts in the agriculture sector. Winfred elaborated how the Fund interventions such as the Challenge Fund, Technical Assistance and Connect Fund will play a key role in de-risking climate adaptation and mitigation projects through unlocking access to patient capital in the form of grants and technical assistance to overcome access to capital and capacity gap challenges.

The team members identified and engaged with various audiences over the two-day event such as SMEs, Technical Assistance providers, government agencies and other stakeholders, potentially relevant to various Fund interventions. The Fund representatives were able to interact one-on-one, with those interested to learn more on the Fund and also deliver a lightning pitch to create more awareness on the ongoing Agribusiness Challenge Fund.