TOKYO—Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL; President & CEO: Takeshi Hashimoto) today announced that KiliMOL (Representative: Mikio Oyama; Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo, Note 1), which was launched through the MOL Group employee proposal system and Karasawa Agricultural Machinery Service (President: Takeyuki Karasawa; Headquarters: Tomi City, Nagano Prefecture) have formed  business partnership with HAKKI Africa Inc (CEO: Reiji Kobayashi; Headquarters: Kamakura City, Kanagawa Prefecture), which engages in the micro finance business (Note 2) in Africa,  to bring more advanced agricultural machinery to African farmers. The agreement will help finance machinery purchases and creates a comprehensive system covering machinery sales as well as financial support.

(Third from right: KiliMOL Representative Mikio Oyama)

KiliMOL and Karasawa Agricultural Machinery Service have presented agricultural machinery demonstrations at several locations in Kenya to explore local demand. On the other hand, financial institutions in Africa do not provide sufficient financial support for farmers, so improved access to financing is critical for those hoping to purchase machinery.

HAKKI Africa offers a micro finance service that extends small-scale loans to African business operators who have difficulty securing financing from major banks and investors because of a lack of credit information, using a unique credit scoring passport. Currently, it offers a used car finance service for taxi drivers, and will expand to agricultural machinery financing service for farmers. An estimated 60% of Africa’s working population is engaged in agriculture, so there is huge potential in providing financing to this sector.

This business partnership of the three companies will enable even farmers who have had no financing opportunities to purchase Japanese agricultural machinery, drawing upon Karasawa Agricultural Machinery Service’s procurement capabilities, MOL and KiliMOL’s transport expertise, and HAKKI Africa’s financial services. The three companies believe this will allow many more local farmers to acquire machinery and adopt more advanced agricultural methods, thus increasing productivity and helping solve food shortages and hunger problems in Africa. The availability of credit for agricultural machinery will also allow farmers to create new jobs, addressing the issues of unemployment and poverty.