Improved Value Chains for Economic Justice and Education and Training of Women Farmers in Mutoko

Date: May 22, 2015
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Cluster Agricultural Development Services has successfully assisted farmer groups in its four districts of operation to formally register their savings clubs as SACCOs (Savings and Credit Co-operatives) with binding by laws through facilitating training from the Ministry of Small to Medium Enterprises and assistance with requirements for the registration of these Groups. The formation of these savings clubs has created accountability for each farmer as the onus is on each farmer to ensure club funds saved generate interest through investments in lucrative projects. Through these groups farmers have been able to access value addition equipment, production inputs, CA and marketing training and are also benefiting from economies of scale generated from working as a unit. There is also scope for these groups to secure loans from financial institutions to support business initiatives that require capital to take off. The structure of the SACCO enables other group members to play the role of guarantors for each other thereby eliminating the need for collateral.

These formal saving groups have been effective because of the economies of scale that the farmers are enjoying as a result of pooling resources together; these include discounts for farming inputs such as fertilisers bought in bulk, formation of bulking centres for ease of access to product and quality control measures that ensure a uniform product of the same quality is supplied to the market. Working together as communities fosters a of sense accountability as each individual has to carry their weight for the overall success of the group project. With each member of the group taking on responsibility in their respective areas of competence, there is a higher probability of the group achieving and possibly exceeding the objectives set out and in the event of one individual encountering any challenges other group members can step in to support said individuals efforts.

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