Rural Financial Services in Kenya: What is Working and Why?

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Access to rural financial services has a potential to make a difference in agricultural productivity, food security and poverty reduction. However, an efficient, sustainable and widely accessible rural financial system remains a major development challenge in most Sub Sahara African countries. In the late 1990’s, most mainstream commercial banks closed down the rural branches in order to cut costs and improve profits. Since then, a number of non-traditional financial institutions have emerged to fill the gap created by the mainstream banks which locked out low income and irregular earners. The study looks at the emerging and innovative rural finance models in the rural Kenya.

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