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Co-funded by the European Union

Institutional gender mainstreaming and strengthening of gender-lens investing activities in Kenya




Small and Medium Enterprises and Start-Ups, Women's Economic Empowerment






Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) was established in 1963 and was incorporated in 1969 as a Government owned Development Finance Institution (DFI) incorporated under the Agricultural Finance Corprotion Act (Cap 323) of the laws of Kenya.

The Corporation’s mandated is to assist in the development of agriculture and agricultural industries by making loans to farmers, co-operative societies, incorporated group representatives, private companies, public bodies, local authorities and other persons engaging in agriculture or agricultural industries.


The Corporation operates under the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (MOALD) and works in close consultation with the Ministry of Treasury & Economic Planning. Agricultural Finance Corporation has a network coverage of 47 branches in 37 counties.


Access to agricultural finance in Kenya is very low (slightly shy of 15%) and even lower for women. Women have a lower probability of accessing agricultural finance than men because of factors such as the requirements to obtain formal financing and the cost of reaching the nearest financial provider.


The Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA) has been designed to address the current challenges facing the country’s economy, stimulate economic recovery and bolster resilience. It places special emphasis on priorities that target reduction in the cost of living, creation of jobs, achievement of more equitable distribution of income, enhancement of social security, expansion of the tax base and increase of foreign exchange earnings. BETA is anchored on 5 pillars namely; Agriculture, Micro Small Medium Enterprises, Affordable Housing, Digital & Creative Economy and Health.


Following its baseline study on Women’s Access to Agricultural Finance in Kenya, AFC has requested support from the ICR Facility to review and improve how the institution is currently serving women.


The ICR Facility is providing tailor-made technical assistance to AFC to strenghten its internal-facing gender operations and client-facing gender-lens investing activities, to ultimately better serve women among the Kenyan agricultural sector and provide them with more access to finance.


This intervention comprises three main areas of support:

  1. Institutional gender mainstreaming. AFC will assess its current institutional progress with regards to gender, including both internal aspects, for example HR, and client-facing measures, for example the design of products and services. AFC will establish a plan to tackle the existing gaps.
  2. Amending the M&E framework to become gender-responsive. Capturing, reporting and evaluating impactful data is a vital step in being able to better tailor services to reach more women as clients. AFC will transform its current M&E framework to better incorporate crucial data, set key performance indicators, redesign standard operating procedures, amongst others.
  3. Refinement of financial services to better suit the needs of women. AFC’s products, both those that are already targeting women specifically and those with a general target audience, will be reviewed and refined to become more gender-responsive.


Upon completion of this intervention, AFC will have:

  • Conducted an institutional gender assessment,
  • Developed a gender policy, gender strategy, and action plan,
  • Amended its existing M&E framework to become gender-responsive,
  • Refined its financial services to suit the needs of women,
  • Equipped staff members with capacity building on gender.
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