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Kenya sets up US$40 million fund to boost agricultural industry

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NAIROBI, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) — Kenya has set four billion shillings (about 40 million U.S. dollars) for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Fund that seeks to spur agricultural value addition in the country, a government official said on Wednesday.

Lawrence Karanja, chief administrative secretary of Ministry of Industry, Trade Enterprise Development told journalists in Nairobi that the fund will provide concessional loans to small enterprises that are unable to access credit facilities from commercial banks.

Beneficiaries of the SMEs will also receive capacity building training to enable them to strengthen their business management skills.

“The government is keen to promote the SME sector because it is the biggest employer in the country,” Karanja said during the signing of an operationalization memorandum of understanding (MOU) between five lending institutions that will be involved in the implementation of the SMEs fund.

According to the government official, the beneficiaries of the SMEs will also receive capacity building training to enable them to strengthen their business management skills.

Karanja said that at least 400 enterprises are expected to benefit from the revolving fund.

Karanja noted that despite the large number of financial institutions in the country, small enterprises are still unable to access affordable credit because they are perceived to have a high risk of default

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