Case Story - Nkukhu Community Based Farmers Organisation
Nkunkhu Community Based Farmers organization is a 24 member group of male and females that was founded on 4 January 2017.
The group was established with the common understanding that the members will join forces to save money through buying of shares and be able to borrow the money from the group at an interest in order to improve their household incomes through small scale businesses.
From Traditional Authority Malengachanza in Nkhotakota district, Nkukhu is one of the Village Savings and Loan (VSL) groups that are working with DAPP Malawi in the Poverty Reduction of Vulnerable Beneficiaries through Community Based Financial Organization and small scale Enterprise Development (PROVED) project being implemented under the Financial Access for Rural Markets, Smallholders and Enterprises (FARMSE) programme. The program is funded by IFAD via the Ministry of Finance.
During one of the monitoring visits, the group narrated that their expectations for accepting to work with the project in November 2020 were that they will be able to access loans through DAPP Malawi, receive livestock on pass-on loan schemes as well as farming tools.
The group welcomed the idea to work with the project and attributes a number of successes to the project, which include financial literacy, linkage to formal financial institutions, ability to draw a vision and action plan as well as group cohesion through their group businesses and social welfare activities.
In their previous cycle which ran from January to December 2020 the group accumulated about 620 thousand kwacha while in the current run they have already saved 680 thousand kwacha mid-year.
With what they have learnt through the project, the group has set up an action plan and have a vision that each and every member will have an iron sheet roofed house by 2024 and they want to own a maize mill by 2027. To achieve these, the group has a constitution put in place and has set their share value at 500 to 2500 kwacha for each member compared to the previous cycle when everyone could pay 200 kwacha to no limited amount.
The group is also running businesses which include selling fish, growing and selling vegetables and groceries which are sold among members at a profit and they have already started buying iron sheets which will be distributed among members in the near future.
On access to formal financial institution, the project has connected Nkukhu CBFO to the National Economic Empowerment Fund (NEEF) through which they will be able to access loans in order to boost their businesses.