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Project Archive

Microleasing - Productive assets for rural smallholder farmers in support of economic development

People living in poverty, like everyone else, need a diverse range of financial instruments to run their businesses, build assets, stabilize consumption, and shield themselves against risks. Financial services needed by the poor include, but are not limited to, working capital, consumer credit, savings, pensions, insurance, and money transfer services. With millions of people still lacking access to basic financial services, especially the very poor, the challenge of providing financial services to them remains. And while many factors contribute to poverty, its most obvious manifestation is insufficient household income. Both the extent of income-generating opportunities and ability to respond to such opportunities are determined to a great degree by the access to affordable financial services. Increasing the access of poor households to microfinance is therefore being actively pursued worldwide.


The Project

Swisscontact promotes the concept and up-scaling of Microleasing for the acquisition of productive assets for rural smallholder farmers in support of economic development. Microleasing is the leasing and acquisition of assets of small value which generate additional and diverse income for low income people. Leasing – in this context - is a means of helping individuals acquire equipment and realize profits from assets while purchasing them. It eliminates the need for individuals to commit capital to purchase equipment by either borrowing, or having to commit their resources up front. Smallholder farmers access leasing finance more easily than bank loans due to the simpler security arrangements, lighter regulations and more flexible requirements.

The model is essentially made up of three elements: the lease or pre-finance of assets, insurance of both the lessee and the asset and training of the lessee in the use and maintenance of the asset in order to achieve optimal results.



  • 7,416 small holder farmers in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda were reached with training on microleasing procedures, farming techniques, value addition and entrepreneurship.
  • 728 Business Development Officers were trained to facilitate microleasing.
  • Farmers in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda benefitted from 50,332 leases of productive assets valued at US$32,555,809.
  • The average additional income per beneficiary was US$932 per year.

Project countries

  • Kenya
  • Rwanda
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda

Project duration

2014 - 2017


  • Credit Suisse

Working area