(A partnership between UKaid Sakchyam and Sahara Nepal Saving and Credit Cooperative Ltd)
UKaid Sakchyam Access to Finance Programme believes that microfinance sector can have positive impacts on clients’ socioeconomic status by providing innovative and demand-driven products/services. This is especially instrumental in ensuring meaningful access to finance among clients with enterprises. Clients running small enterprises look for financial products/services that enable them to expand their businesses. Such dedicated products/services need to cater to all the actors of a value chain to meet their requirements and bring notable efficiency in the sector.
The various initiatives and efforts of Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) towards improving the income and livelihood of their clients may not have the desired and remarkable effects. Lack of appropriate financial products and services that address the clients’ need to enhance their income, employment and entrepreneurship, is one of the causes of this situation.
The unavailability of suitable products prevents the clients from engaging in potential economic opportunities and hence demotivates them. Such members often affiliate with other financial institutions in pursuit of desired products or limit their aspirations at the subsistence level.
The second partnership project between Sahara Nepal Saving and Credit Cooperative and Sakchyam is designed to support the establishment of sustainable value chain systems for the commercialisation of goat and poultry farming.
After the need assessment of commercial goat/poultry farmers (the ones with at least 20 goats or 500 poultry), the Commercial Agriculture loan of Sahara has been refined to meet the need of the farmers as well as other actors in the goat and poultry value chain. Initiatives such as livestock technical services for the farmers, training locals to become animal health workers, collaboration with local municipalities to support meat hygiene, etc. have been integrated into the project to support its objectives.
The project was piloted in the Jhapa district from May 2018 to June 2019. The project is now being extended to 5 other districts of Province 1, namely, Ilam, Sunsari, Morang, Panchthar and Udayapur. It is being implemented in technical partnership with Sahara NGO and Heifer International.
As a part of the project, Sahara is also conducting Agriculture Financial and Technical literacy campaigns through various activities/media such as audio-visuals, apps, meetings, radio, etc.
As of March 2021, Sahara has:
- Piloted the project in 4 pockets and 11 clusters of Jhapa district
- Refined the Commercial Agriculture loan with special provision to fit the need of commercial-scale goat/ poultry farmers (at least 20 goats or 500 poultry) based on an assessment it had conducted
- Disbursed 4,519 Commercial Agriculture Loan valued over NPR 966 million for poultry/ goat value chain actors
- Initiated livestock insurance by 107 farmers with sum-insured over NPR 33 million
- Trained over 1,000 clients on poultry/ goat value chain
- Trained over 2,880 members on entrepreneurship development
- Offered financial literacy to more than 1,930 members
- Engaged in Smart Certification process
- Started reporting to Credit Information Bureau (CIB)