Share this page

IFC Loan Boosts Access to Finance for Small Agribusinesses, Farmers in Kosovo

Pristina, Kosovo, November 20, 2019— IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), are providing €9 million in loans to three microfinance institutions (MFIs) to increase access to finance for small agribusinesses and farmers in Kosovo.
The loans to the Agency for Finance in Kosovo (AFK), KEP Trust (KEP), Kreditimi Rural i Kosoves (KRK) are part of IFC’s and GAFSP’s broader strategy to support private sector development in Kosovo’s agricultural sector by increasing access to finance for micro and small enterprises. Kosovo’s agricultural sector is currently underserved by banks, limiting growth of small businesses and farmers.
“Engaging three leading MFIs to achieve a systemic impact is key to the financial inclusion of small and micro enterprises in Kosovo,” said Thomas Lubeck, IFC Regional Manager for Central and Southeastern Europe. “Helping finance these small businesses through microfinancing is one of the most direct ways for IFC to fight poverty and develop private enterprises, especially in the farming sector.”
The financing to the MFIs consists of three unsecured blended finance packages from IFC and GAFSP’s Private Sector Window: €2 million to AFK, €4 million to KEP, and €3 million to KRK. Each loan is shared equally by IFC and GAFSP. Additionally, GAFSP is supporting an Advisory Services project to build agriculture lending in Kosovo.
“In a segment that is severely underserved by banks, IFC’s and GAFSP’s support is key to the sustainability of the businesses of our clients in Kosovo,” said Vahdet Anadolli CEO of AFK.
“The loan will significantly increase our lending capacity to farmers in Kosovo,” said Shpend Nura CEO, KEP. “A considerable part of our credit portfolio is allocated to small and micro enterprises in agribusiness and farming.”
“The segment of clients financed by KRK, mostly farmers with low and irregular cash inflows, are categorized as high-risk clients by banks and are not targeted,” said Lulzim Sadrija, CEO of KRK. “We play a critical role in ensuring that they have access to finance to generate income and create new jobs.”
All three MFIs are existing clients for IFC, with AFK and KEP having received loans from IFC and the GAFSP Private Sector Window in 2018 to support lending operations in the agriculture sector.
About IFC
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities where they are needed most. In fiscal year 2019, we delivered more than $19 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org
About the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP)
The Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) is a global effort that pools donor resources to fund programs focused on increasing agricultural productivity as a way to reduce poverty and increase food and nutrition security. GAFSP targets countries with the highest rates of poverty and hunger. The public sector window helps governments with national agriculture and food security plans. The private sector window, managed by IFC, and supported by the governments of Australia, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States, provides long- and short-term loans, credit guarantees, and equity to private sector companies to improve productivity growth, deepen farmer’s links to markets, and increase capacity and technical skills.
About AFK
AFK is the fourth largest MFI in the country with a loan portfolio of €32 million and serving 18,000 clients, with a strong agribusiness portfolio. AFK was established as an NGO in 1999 by Mercy Corps to provide financial services to MSEs in Kosovo. Mercy Corps is an NGO headquartered in the United States and works in over 40 countries facilitating disaster recovery, building up communities, and helping to alleviate poverty. For more information, visit http://krk-ks.com/
About KEP TRUST
Founded in 1999, KEP is now the biggest MFI in the Kosovo market with a portfolio over €44 million, servicing 20,000 customers in the country from its head office in Pristina and a country-wide network of 31 branches. KEP’s mission is to offer a wide range of micro loans, especially to people with limited access to the banking sector, including those in remote or rural areas, minorities, and women. KEP was founded by the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) and Prizren Business Club in September 1999. For more information, visit http://www.keptrust.org/
About KRK
KRK is the third largest MFI in the country focused on providing loans to the underserved clients with a net loan book of €36 million with a strong presence in rural areas with a 26-branch network, servicing more than 15,000 customers. KRK was established in the year 2000 as an NGO credit fund licensed by the Central Bank of Kosovo. In January 2004, KRK was transformed into a Limited Liability Company with the following ownership structure: EFSE (42.2%), FMO (29.3%), SIDI (17.4%), and Credit Cooperatif (11.2%).
Stay Connected