World Bank fund invests in Kenyan biotech organization

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Kenya Climate Ventures (KCV), which is an independent subsidiary of Kenya Climate Innovation Center, has invested $350,000 (Sh35 million) in Sistema.bio, to deliver sustainable renewable energy and agricultural solutions to farmers in Kenya.

The investment by KCV, which is also a World Bank fund, is to be pumped into a hybrid reactor biodigester that transforms the manure of animals into biogas and a potent, natural fertilizer.

According to Raymond Chepkwony, Sistema.bio country manager, the convertible debt instrument is expected to help accelerate Sistema.bio’s expansion and growth of the existing market in the country thus ensuring residents in rural areas gain access to clean energy by profitably managing all the waste in their households while safeguarding their health.

“We are on track to scale up our operations in Kenya and this round of funding will give us an opportunity to sustainably and positively impact more smallholder farmers and grow into different regions; initially in Kenya, but with an eye at regional expansion,” added Raymond.

This will complement the current plan that Sistema.bio had of providing interest-free payment plans to farmers in order to improve affordability of the biodigester.

The approach, Sistema.bio says, not only increased access of smallholder farmers but it also allowed them to keep their monthly payments similar to what they would ordinarily spend on firewood, charcoal and LP Gas. Apart from this, the biodigester assists the farmers to cook without smoke and avoid pulmonary diseases.

Paul Ohaga, KCV Chief investment officer, on the hand said that the investment with Sistema.bio would help address sustainable agriculture while mitigating against climate change.

“Our investment in Sistema.bio reflects our commitment towards enterprises that work to elevate the climate agenda. We will continue to invest in enterprises that have community focus and contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation,” said Mr Ohaga.