The Kwara State Government has launched a collaborative initiative with HerVest, an inclusive fintech in Nigeria, to provide finance and also train 1,000 rural female farmers across the state.
The initiative launched through the office of the technical adviser on agriculture to the governor, Abdulquawiy Olododo commenced on April 2, 2022, and is designed to equip women farmers in basic agronomic practices and financial literacy, to enable them to make informed farming, and agribusiness decisions while providing them with access to credit, key inputs, and markets to grow their farm enterprises.
The Gender Finance Project kicked off in three local governments which are Ajase-Ipo (Kwara South), Lade Patigi (Kwara North), and Ilorin (Kwara Central), and aligns with the 10-Year agricultural transformation plan of the Kwara State Government under the administration of governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.
To flag off the initiative, the team visited the deputy governor of Kwara State Kayode Alabi, who applauded the innovative project and expressed the state’s readiness to support it while also validating the need for gender inclusion in global entrepreneurship through agriculture.
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“This partnership with the State Government is the right step toward the actualization of the state’s agricultural sustainable developmental goals and aligns with the goal of ensuring food security, generating employment opportunities, and reducing the poverty rate,” he said.
Solape Akinpelu, CEO and Co-founder, HerVest, highlighted the existing $42 billion gender finance gap which her firm aims to bridge by linking urban women with opportunities to impact invest in female farmers by providing them with access to credit, extension services, and premium markets through a gender-focused lens.
“Female farmers contribute over 70 percent to food production in Nigeria, yet receive less than 10 percent of structured funding, they are highly disadvantaged and require special support in realizing their potentials,” she said.
Akinpelu expressed her excitement in collaborating with the state government with the belief that partnerships and industrialization are key to addressing major challenges in agriculture, especially finance and productivity.
HerVest is an inclusive digital platform that provides financial growth services to underserved and excluded African women through target savings, impact investing, and credit financing- specifically for women farmers in Nigeria.
So far, the company has over 20,000 women community members achieving financial wellness through competitive returns on target savings, agro investments, and gender-driven financial literacy resources and has impacted over 5,000 thousand female farmers across Borno, Plateau, Kaduna, Benue, Niger, Oyo, and Ogun States in addition to its current project in Kwara State.