Thursday, January 26, 2012

Uganda Credit Unions (SACCO's) Making a difference

I am attaching a video of a Uganda Youth Farmer (Ali). He is 26 years old and had received some land from his family to farm. He was unsure how he could turn his land into something worthwhile so he visited the SACCO from his hometown Nazigo. The Nazigo Credit Union with 1962 members - my partner and I bought shares so we were 1960 and 1961 - educated Ali on the importance of credit in a week long education program. He then had to purchase shares of 100,000 shillings (approx $40) if he was to borrow 1 Million shillings for his farm. He saved and bought the shares and he was granted the loan to buy plants. He cleared about 1 acre of land by hand with a homemade tools and the land was rocky and dry to work with. He planted pineapple plants in rows of two which will yield a single pineapple after 18 months and he will earn approximately 3000-4000 shillings per pineapple. He has been paying his interest only loan until such time his crop will harvest, then he will repay his loan to the SACCO.
In Canadian standards it is safe to say that these loans may never be granted. Rules, policies, best practices, legislation, and other governance issues would stand in the way of preventing action. The Credit Union system has to also follow such rules, however thankfully, the membership selects a board to determine these guidelines. The rules are local rules that work for the local economy and not that of Toronto. Watch the video and see for yourself the impact of a SACCO to this farmer.

1 comment:

Harvey said...

Hey Cory: Nice video. Must have had a great photographer,eh?