Mar 11, 2013 KV Kiva HQ
By Amniya Shahbozova
Newest Field Partner: Kiva re-enters in Nigeria to help increase crop yields with Babban Gona
Kiva is now in Nigeria! And we are extremely excited to work in this country again with our brand new partner, Babban Gona.

One of the most populous countries in West Africa, it was named after the Niger River which runs through the country. Although playing a vital role in Africa’s economy, Nigeria has a high poverty rate of about 70% and an unemployment rate of over 23%. The number of unbanked people in the country is one of the highest in Africa, and access to banking services is particularly limited in rural areas.

Luckily, some organizations exist that offer financial services to rural smallholder farmers who otherwise cannot access credit because of the high risk and high cost of borrowing. Babban Gona is an organization that invests in smallholder farmers by giving them access to credit to buy high-quality, low-cost inputs as well as mechanization services, and by supporting them to dramatically increase their yields and profits.



Babban Gona borrower Maryamu is using her $550 Kiva loan to buy seeds, fertilizer and other tools to increase her maize yields.

How does it work?

Through Babban Gona, each borrow can expect to increase their income fourfold by tripling their yields and rearing premium livestock. For example, last harvest one of Babban Gona’s farmers achieved a yield of 4.6 metric tons -- four times average in Nigeria! He earned $1,000 on 1.1 hectares of land. In just one season, this farmer has earned half of the per capita annual GDP in Nigeria, effectively helping him escape poverty.

The organization also helps farmers achieve success by marketing their products and selling them for up to nine months to capture peak prices that occur later after harvest.

Babban Gona’s clients also benefit from improvement in child welfare. With the additional working capital loan, farmers can access a wide range of Babban Gona inputs on credit, including tractor services. The use of mechanization reduces the need for child labor on farms and gives young people more time to attend school.

In addition, Babban Gona supports safe produce by promoting the use of Aflasafe -- a biological control for the toxic product Aflatoxin that has a negative effect on health, especially of children. By using Aflasafe, the maize they produce will be safe for consumption and thus improve the welfare of the children and their families.

Kiva is thrilled to be partnering with Babban Gona to help them reach more poor farmers in remote areas who are generally not reached by other institutions. Now, farmers will have the working capital they need to purchase seeds and boost their harvest yields. More yields means more income to help these families lift themselves out of poverty!

LEND TO A BABBAN GONA PARTNER TODAY! Many lenders are interested in these loans, so we’re sorry if we’re out for now. More are on the way!

Have questions about Babban Gona? Send them our way at blog@kiva.org.

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Amniya was born in Khorog, Tajikistan, a city on the Tajik-Afghan border. After finishing high school, she obtained a scholarship to study Accounting, Analysis and Audit at the Finance Academy under the Government of Russia. After graduating and working for two years as an accountant in Moscow, Russia, she interned with Aga Khan Foundation, USA in Washington DC where she became interested in microfinance. She then completed an MSc. in International Business at University West in
Sweden and returned to Tajikistan, where she worked as Social Performance and Product Development Officer and later Product Development Manager for the First MicroFinance Bank (FMFB). While working for FMFB, Amniya facilitated the first loan program for Afghan refugees in Tajikistan with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and led the Bank’s development of Remittance Linked Savings for Tajik migrants in Russia. Amniya is an avid traveler, and loves
listening to music both from Tajikistan and North America.

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