Contribution of Microfinance Credit on Poverty Reduction among the Agricultural Rural Women in Keiyo North District, Elgeyo-Marakwet County, Kenya

Fredrick kiptoo Chepsat, James Obara, Stanley M. Makindi


Microfinance institutions provide small loans to rural women to improve their living standards. The main purpose of microfinance credit programme is to break the vicious cycle of poverty among the rural women by providing them with capital. Poverty is a global problem; more than 1.3 billion people worldwide live below the poverty line, 70% of them being women. In Keiyo North district, 48% of the population lives below the poverty line with women constituting 65% of those living below the poverty line. However, less rural women in Keiyo North district participate in the microfinance credit programme despite the fact that Kenya Women Finance Trust (KWFT) operates in all the 13 sub-locations in the district. This study sought to investigate the contribution of microfinance credit on poverty reduction among the rural women in Keiyo North district. The study used a descriptive survey design to collect data. The target population was 220 of the rural women participating in groups in microfinance credit programme from which a sample of 130 rural women was drawn. An open and close-ended questionnaire was used. A pilot study was conducted among the 30 KWFT rural women participants and a Cronbach’s Apha coefficient reliability of 0.71 was attained. The validity of the instrument was ascertained by experts from Agricultural Education and Extension in the Faculty of Education and Community studies and supervisors of Egerton University. Data was analyzed using chi-square α=0.05 significance level. Results indicated that microfinance credit programme has improved household level of income and acquisition of assets among the rural women in Keiyo North district. In addition, the rural women can also afford health care services for their families as a result of participating in microfinance credit programme. The study recommends that microfinance institutions (MFIs) should encourage more rural women to participate in microfinance credit programme to increase their levels of income and raise their household assets ownership. The county government should sensitize more rural women on the need to join the microfinance credit programme in order to boost their ability to afford health care services for their families.

Keywords: Microfinance credit, poverty, Income, Asset acquisition, Health care, Agricultural rural women.

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