Dang is one of the districts within Bheri Zone and lies in Province 5 of Nepal. The district, with an area of 2,955 sq.km, is divided into 39 VDCs and 2 Municipalities. It has 116,347 households with a total population of 553,048 (Male 261,524 & Female 291,524). Literacy Rate in the district is 58% (women’s literacy rate is 47%).
The district is well served by road network. Dang is the gateway to various hilly districts of the region such as Salyan, Rukum, Rolpa etc. Due to its strategic location, the district can be considered as sub-regional hub.
Agriculture (including livestock and poultry), manufacturing (including cement production), food processing industries and trading are the main economic activities of the district. Paddy, wheat, lentil, oilseeds, vegetables and potatoes are the main agricultural products of the district. The district also has many food processing industries. Its rich forestry resources, around 65% of the area is covered by forest, also provides potential for herb collection and processing.
The district is served by 58 different branches of ‘A’ Class Commercial Banks, 40 different branches of ‘B’ Class Development Banks, and four different branches of ‘C’ Class Finance Companies. The population served per branch is 6,047 against the national average of 8,960. This indicates the need to further expand the outreach of financial services and facilities to the unbanked population of the area.
Agriculture is the main income source of majority of households (around 79%). If we analyse the use of credit products in Agriculture, only around 15% had agriculture credit out of which major sources of credit were relatives (27%), followed by FIs (21%) and women’s groups (16%).
Despite the presence of large number of FIs in the district, informal sector still are the dominant suppliers of the credit. This may be one of the limiting factors for the large scale commercialisation of agriculture sector. AFP Programme will work closely with FIs to increase the range of suitable financial products as well as to streamline process which will facilitate use of agriculture credit.
Women suffer from gender based discrimination in education, nutrition, social and cultural norms. Women are less likely to be involved in economic activities outside home and are marginalised in major decision making. Caste based discrimination is still prevalent in district. The district also has a number of vulnerable groups such as Tharu and Badi.
A key aim of the AFP programme is to improve access to financial services and encourage formal participation in the economic sector for women and deprived segment of the districts. The AFP programme will use the GESI lens throughout the project cycle for addressing these issues.
Value Chain Financing Innovations
Delivery Channel Innovations
Financial Literacy Initiatives
The programme is supporting Laxmi Bank, Machhapuchhre Bank and Sanima Bank to deploy Dedicated Assistant Relationship Managers (ARMs) to increase financial services to the rural poor.