, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 5 – The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, on Friday announced a loan of $12 million (Sh1 billion) to support the operations of Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA).
KTDA will use the loan to build a 200,000 square foot warehouse to store tea and other commodities in Mombasa, through its subsidiary, Chai Trading Company.
IFC CEO Jin-Yong Cai said the investment in KTDA will help increase revenues and living standards for the smallholder farmers, whom the company represents.
“IFC’s investment in KTDA will optimize business for KTDA. The new warehouse in Mombasa will also create employment opportunities for KTDA’s local suppliers and distributors,” Cai said.
Jin-Yong who is in Kenya for the first time added that IFC is committed to investing in local agricultural institutions to develop Africa’s agribusiness value chain in the country.
On his part KTDA chief executive, Lerionka Tiampati said KTDA warehouses in Mombasa currently handle about 300 million metric tonnes of made tea annually that is transported from the tea factories across the country.
Jin-Yong was on Friday morning hosted by Diamond Trust Bank at a Nairobi Hotel and said that IFC plans to partner with many financial institutions to be able to give long term loans to small entrepreneurs.
Since 2009 IFC has invested $22.5 million (Sh1.9billion) in Bank of Africa and $45 million (Sh3.8 billion) in Diamond Trust Bank to support the banks’ lending services to the SMEs through its Africa Micro Small and Medium Enterprise Finance Program.
So far the program has been rolled in 16 countries across Africa, with 21 banks with over $1 billion (Sh84 billion) in outstanding loans to SME clients.