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Building|Business|Sustainable
Building|Business|Sustainable
building|business|sustainable

EIB, Bank of Kigali to develop €100m fund for climate fund adaptation for farmers

4th December 2023

By: Tasneem Bulbulia

Senior Contributing Editor Online

     

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The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Bank of Kigali on December 2 confirmed that they are developing a new targeted sustainable agriculture financing initiative, the first climate resilience business finance scheme in Rwanda and largest ever EIB support for private sector investment in Rwanda.

The scheme is expected to unlock €100-million in new climate investment by small holder farmers and agribusiness, as well as improve access to finance by businesses owned by women.

“It is a pleasure to witness additional climate finance partnerships happen beyond Ireme Invest. All aimed to achieve our ambitious climate action plan to reduce carbon emissions by 38% by 2030.

“Achieving this goal will require $11-billion and we encourage everyone to be part of this initiative. BK has paved the way for commercial banks in Rwanda in incorporating green financing,” Rwanda Green Fund CEO Teddy Mugabo said on the sidelines of the twenty-eighth Conference of the Parties (COP28) in Dubai,

Under the new initiative, which is expected to be launched early next year, farmers, agribusiness companies and agricultural cooperatives will be able to access €100-million of new financing, mobilised through a partnership between the EIB and the Bank of Kigali.

The initiative aims to tackle the long-standing credit constraints holding back private sector agriculture investment by facilitating access to dedicated, long-term loans and will be implemented in close collaboration with the European Union, which is supporting agriculture programmes in Rwanda including value chain development – particularly in horticulture and aquaculture.

“Climate change impacts not only agricultural production, but also the overall economic stability of agribusiness across Rwanda. Access to finance is vital for building resilience and ensuring the survival of livelihoods impacted by the climate emergency.

“Over recent months experts from the Bank of Kigali and the EIB have developed this comprehensive private sector financing scheme that will accelerate climate change adaptation, foster sustainable development and enhance economic opportunities for women,” said Bank of Kigali CEO Dr Diane Karusisi.

“Increasing access to finance for smallholders and agribusiness across Rwanda is crucial for climate resilience and enables millions of farming families to adopt sustainable agricultural practices that mitigate the impact of climate change.

“The European Investment Bank is pleased to work with the Bank of Kigali and the European Union to develop this pioneering €100-million initiative, as part of the Global Gateway partnership,” said EIB VP Thomas Östros.

Rwanda has experienced a temperature increase of 1.4 oC since 1970, higher than the global average. Most parts of Rwanda are projected to experience an increase in more intense rainfalls, which will increase the intensity and frequency of floods and landslides.

The new climate finance scheme would support investment to enhance agricultural productivity, enabling smallholders to invest in modern farming technologies and techniques, increasing crop yields and adapting to changing climate conditions.

New agricultural investment would also help to ensure that smallholders can withstand extreme weather and climate-related disruptions, contributing to a more stable and secure food supply.

Improved access to finance would also help smallholders and agribusiness to diversify income sources, strengthening resilience against climate-induced shocks and creating more sustainable livelihoods.

The gender gap in access to agricultural loans remains significant in Rwanda with 74.5% of men having access while only 25.5% of women do, with women-owned or -led agri-businesses disproportionately constrained. Even though in Rwanda, about 71% of all women in employment work in agriculture.

The new initiative will include dedicated financing for businesses owned and managed by women, as well as employing and serving women. The finance scheme will support investment to enhance agricultural productivity, enhancing better access to finance across the agriculture sector and economic empowerment of women.

At least 30% of the total financing under the new scheme will be dedicated for female entrepreneurs or businesses where a majority of employees are women.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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