We can finally kick off a new year. The after effects of the 2019 Southern African drought will remain for a long time and will stay in our memories. We can hope that 2020 will set us a better table to eat from. Access to cash for Zambian smallholder dairy farmers is one of the challenges that seems to be addressed for good. Gone are the days when a dairy farmer has to rush to a micro-lender when his cows fall sick.
In July, the Liteta Dairy Saving and Lending Group was established by the Liteta Dairy Cooperative Union with support from the Dairy Association of Zambia. The ZDTP (Zambia Dairy Transformation Programme) is committed to strengthen rural institutions and they are at the helm of the facilitation of this Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) system.
A VSLA is a group of 10 to 25 people who save together and take small loans from those savings. It is member managed and each person can buy one to five shares during every meeting, which is also their means of saving. All members have the right to borrow up to a maximum of three times the value of their shares. All VSLA transactions (buying and borrowing) are performed at meetings in front of all members where every transaction is approved and logged in booklets. Repayments are made at a low interest rate and at the end of the nine-month cycle, the shares and the interest gained will be shared among members accordingly.
ZDTP has agreed to provide the Liteta Dairy Savings and Lending Group with a fund box, locks, printed sharepurchase booklets and a date stamp for recording purposes.
The members of Liteta Dairy Cooperative Union don’t have to worry any more about logistical constraints like long travel distances to financial lenders such as banks who usually require securities. This system can easily be duplicated among other dairy co-operations.
This month, we start off with a new series on irrigation principles focussed on emerging farmers. Reinke shares their maintenance tips with us to get your pivot up and running before the dry season arrives. HLB shows their commitment to the admin side of farming. Besides pivots, Agrico also manufactures cultivation implements and their High Speed Disk is as tough as Africa.
Du Preez de Villiers – firstname.lastname@example.org