USDA Wheat Arrives in Kenya to Fund WOCCU Program
Sale of Wheat Supports Credit Union (SACCO) and Community Development
The first USDA shipment of wheat arrives to Mombasa Port in December 2006.
Madison, WI—The shipment has arrived,
now the work on the ground begins. The final
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
wheat shipment to fund a World Council of Credit
Unions (WOCCU) project aimed at mitigating the
impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic on affected
families in Kenya arrived at Mombasa Port April
Last year, USDA’s Food for Progress program
awarded World Council 26,610 metric tons of
wheat to sell in Kenya to fund a three-year
project based on the shores of Lake Victoria.
The sale of the US wheat to a local broker in
Kenya provided World Council with US$6.1 million
to fund a new development program focused on
offering much needed agricultural and financial
services through credit unions (SACCOs) to
HIV/AIDS-affected families in the most afflicted
region of Kenya.
The second and final shipment of wheat offloads from the US Navision Laker ship at Mombasa Port April 1.
The Food for Progress program has major
both at home and abroad. On the home front, the
program helps expand US agricultural exports in
the short term and can build the foundation for
future US sales in countries where the donated
commodities are sold. By shipping on American
flag carriers, it also supports the American
"Despite recent criticisms of food aid
the fact is that Kenya is not growing enough
wheat to feed itself," explained Sam Dunlap,
WOCCU’s consultant and managing director of
International Agricultural Services. "This
public-private partnership focuses on achieving
positive sustainable results that benefit both
countries. We are introducing a quality, high-
protein product that local importers otherwise
would not be able to access."
Local production in Kenya meets just 18% of
country’s demand for wheat. By selling the US
wheat on the local market at a fair price to
fund its new SACCO development program, WOCCU
not only makes more food available in Kenya
today, but it also creates the foundation to
build a better future in the country.
"As far as sustainable projects go, World
Council is at the forefront," said Dunlap, who
is also retired from the Foreign Agricultural
Proceeds from the sale of the US wheat will
a variety of services tailored to assist
families affected by HIV/AIDS. Individual
development accounts (IDAs) for education will
help vulnerable households fund secondary school
education for their children, and
farmers—who comprise 75% of Kenya’s
population—will have access to funding for
agricultural business development and training
in labor-saving and conservation technologies.
World Council will also provide technical
assistance to strengthen SACCO system operations
in western Kenya.
World Council is working on various fronts to
provide Kenyans with opportunities through
SACCOs. In addition to the USDA-funded program,
its other programs in Kenya are advising the
government on establishing regulatory standards
for SACCOs and assisting them with meeting those
future standards, devising development tools for
rapid SACCO growth and outreach to the poor and
training staff to deliver an HIV/AIDS peer
education program. The recently formed
IRnet® Coop Kenya also
provides international remittance services
through Kenyan SACCOs, and the Strathmore-WOCCU
African Management Institute trains SACCO
leaders from across the continent in credit
union best practices.
World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.
World Council has implemented more than 290 technical assistance programs in 71 countries. Worldwide, 57,000 credit unions in 105 countries serve 217 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.