Absa Bank partners with eco.business to fund Climate Smart Agriculture

Absa Bank Kenya PLC and the eco.business Fund, an impactful investment fund, have unveiled a partnership worth Ksh1.26 billion (US10 million) to facilitate lending to domestic and export businesses involved in Kenya’s agricultural value chains.

This funding initiative aims to enhance resource efficiency, bolster food security, and combat climate change impacts within the agricultural sector. The collaboration between the two organizations seeks to boost the availability and quality of financing dedicated to the agricultural value chains while promoting sustainable practices throughout the sector.

Michael Evers, Chairperson of the eco.business Fund Board of Directors, stated that supporting sustainable and climate-resilient agricultural practices and strengthening local value chains are key priorities for the fund. “Our investment will empower various value chain stakeholders in Kenya—agricultural producers, aggregators, processors, and exporters—to adopt biodiversity and climate-friendly production practices and exports, thereby addressing food insecurity. This partnership marks the beginning of a promising collaboration with the Absa Group across sub-Saharan Africa.”

Kenya’s agriculture sector plays a pivotal role in the economy, contributing approximately 50 percent to GDP (including linkages), 60 percent to export revenues, and employing 40 percent of the workforce. However, the sector faces challenges from macroeconomic and climate-related factors, leading to stagnant yields and exacerbating food insecurity.

Market access limitations, post-harvest losses, and unorganized value chains further burden stakeholders.

Additionally, implementing climate-smart agricultural practices requires significant financial and technical investments to enhance resource efficiency, conserve biodiversity, and mitigate climate change. It is estimated that almost a third of Kenya’s agricultural production is lost due to fragmented supply chains, outdated practices, and inadequate infrastructure.

Elizabeth Wasunna, Business Banking Director at Absa Bank, emphasized, “As a bank, we recognize the substantial contribution of agriculture to Kenya’s economy as its backbone. Our collaboration with like-minded partners underscores our commitment to continuously support the growth and development of this sector.”

She added that agribusiness is a key growth pillar in their overall business strategy. The bank adopts a value chain approach, providing tailored solutions for input providers, primary producers, aggregators, and agro-industry players.

To further promote impact and sustainability, the eco.business Fund will enhance the lending facility with a technical assistance component focused on capacity building within value chains. In the initial phase, over 300 value chain stakeholders and Absa Bank clients will receive training on post-harvest loss reduction and financial literacy across cereal, horticulture, and dairy value chains.

Moreover, the eco.business Fund will facilitate relationship-building and knowledge-sharing forums with exporters, aggregators, and processors, particularly emphasizing sustainability practices in emerging export crops such as avocados and macadamias.