Under the RYAF-Hinga Weze partnership, 10 RYAF district coordinators today have been trained on how to create youth savings and lending groups among smallholder farmers in all the 10 districts Hinga Weze operates.
The one-day training of trainers which took place at Grand Legacy Hotel was aimed at enabling the RYAF district coordinators know how they will create these savings groups among the youth as well as evaluate whether the existing farmer savings groups are registered, how they are operating or performing and if they are meeting the right standards of Hinga Weze savings groups.
This activity targets to form 1,000 farmer savings groups including 500 youth groups in addition to other 3,053 existing ones that were created by Hinga Weze.
Farmers who will be registered into these savings groups will benefit from the knowledge on how to save as well as improve their financial inclusion, which in the long run will enable future lending and borrowing capacity from financial institutions.
According to Alex Bizimana, the Access to Finance Advisor at Hinga Weze, “Most of the smallholder farmers have a low financial capacity to invest and yet cannot borrow from banks since financial institutions look at them as high risk segments for financing.”
“Therefore, the creation of SGs will be one solution to de-risk the small holder farmers.” he added.
According to the SGs concept, members should be between 10-20, there must be a clear purpose of creating the SG which must also be clear to the members of the group, set savings targets and rules to follow.
These savings groups are also said to help farmers to have access to farm inputs, seeds and market for their produce. Since they will open a bank account as a group, their savings will be secured hence create banking historical record for future financial needs.
Once their savings investment target is reached, group members can define another target during the general meeting and the cycle continues like that.
Hinga Weze targets to form 6,354 savings groups among farmers within its operational period (2017-2022). This year 2020, the project hopes to form 4,053 savings groups in 10 districts (Kayonza, Bugesera, Nyamagabe, Gatsibo, Ngoma, Karongi, Rutsiro, Nyabihu and Ngororero) with the help of RYAF.
During the 15-days activity, RYAF district coordinators will teach farmers the importance of creating savings groups, the rules and regulations of the groups, select the saving groups committees, make sure that the groups are registered at a cell level as well as sensitize them about financial literacy or how they will be saving.
From RYAF Communication Team