Jamii Bora Bank launches "MazaoPlus", an Asset Finance & Maintenance Loan for Kenyan Smallholder Farmers
Jamii Bora Bank, a microfinance bank in Kenya, has announced the pilot launch of its new financial product, MazaoPlus, an asset finance and maintenance loan geared towards smallholder farmers. The product launch marks the culmination of a nine-month engagement for ThinkPlace, which partnered with Grameen Foundation and Jamii Bora Bank to carry out in-depth user research to inform the design and development of the new financial product. The team spent weeks in the field, meeting with farmers and stakeholders in the agricultural value chain, to gather in-depth information about the product’s intended customers and their needs. The team continued to engage end users to test the concepts and prototype the products to make sure that the final product would work.
The asset finance and maintenance product will enable farmers to own and manage an income-generating agricultural asset that will be sourced and financed by the bank. The pilot will initially focus on financing of dairy cows, followed by greenhouses and irrigation equipment. The unique features of this product, created to provide additional support to farmers, include:
- Maintenance of the cow, such as high-quality feed and veterinary services
- Regular training for farmers on best practices in dairy farming, disease prevention, nutrition and market access points
- Insurance on the cow, giving the farmer peace of mind should something happen.
But having a great product is just the first step. Marketing this product to low-income farmers means going into the communities, engaging with farmers and building trust. Jamii Bora will also use community farmer agents, who are trusted members of the community, to promote the new product and help build a community of farmers that it can support through its financial and information services.