Nelly Bassily | September 3, 2012
Microfinance offers individuals and groups access to credit and savings options that, in the past, were only available to those who had greater wealth and were making larger transactions. Microfinance services are sometimes provided by non-profit organizations. Increasingly, however, regular banking institutions are finding it profitable to provide microfinance services.
As we see in this week’s story, access to microcredit can help a farmer make a key investment that improves their livelihood. These Farm Radio Weekly stories offer other examples of farmers who have used small loans to boost their incomes and change their lives:
-Mauritius: Egg production is their path out of poverty (FRW 86, November 2009): http://weekly.farmradio.org/2009/11/02/mauritius-egg-production-is-their-path-out-of-poverty-ips/
-Democratic Republic of the Congo: Local bank reaps local benefits (FRW 72, June 2009):
-Rwanda: Farmers boost profits with “coffee bikes” (FRW 8, January 2008):
Farm Radio International has produced a series of scripts about microfinance and credit:
-Women and credit – Part 1: Women learn about credit: http://www.farmradio.org/english/radio-scripts/57-3script_en.asp
-Women and credit – Part 2: Women start a revolving loan fund: http://www.farmradio.org/english/radio-scripts/57-4script_en.asp
-Women and credit – Part 3: Women set up a purchasing and marketing cooperative: http://www.farmradio.org/english/radio-scripts/57-5script_en.asp
You may wish to prepare a program on microfinance or savings initiatives for farmers. Find out about local institutions or government agencies that support such initiatives. They may lead you to farmers or farmers’ groups you could interview. Ask what sort of a scheme it is, who it is aimed at, how it operates and how it is tailored to farmers’ needs and situations. For example, is collateral or a guarantor’s signature needed? How easy or difficult is it for farmers to fulfil these and other conditions? What are the downsides to taking a loan or contributing to a savings fund? Ask about the types of initiatives that farmers have funded using loans or savings, and how these have improved their lives or incomes.