Rukum

District Overview

Rukum is one of the five districts within Rapti Zone and lies in the Mid-Western Development Region of Nepal. Musikot is the district headquarters. The district, with an area of 2,877 sq.km, is divided into 43 VDCs. It has 41,837 households with a total population of 208,567 (Male 99,159 & Female 109,408). Literacy Rate in the district is 62% (women’s literacy rate is 54%).
Rukum is connected to Salyan district with an all-weather road.

Economic & Financial Landscape

Agriculture (including livestock and poultry), cottage industries and trading are the main economic activities of the district. Paddy, wheat, maize, vegetables, spices, etc. the main agricultural products of the district. The district is famous for high quality seed production. Its rich forestry resources, around 60% of the area is covered by forest, also provides potential for herb collection and processing.
The district is served by twelve different branches of ‘A’ Class Commercial Banks and one branch of ‘B’ Class Development Banks. The population served per branch is 16,930 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. There is a demonstrable need to increase footprint of FIs in the inner areas of the district.
Agriculture is the main income source for majority of households (around 93%). If we analyse the use of credit products in Agriculture, only around 20% had agriculture credit out of which major sources of credit were relatives (68%), followed by women’s group (16%) and cooperatives (7.44%).
To unleash the full potential of the agriculture sector, there is a need to increase access to credit and other financial products in the district.

GESI Issues

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.

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.

Sakchyam’s Ongoing Interventions

Delivery Channel Innovations

  • The programme has been able to reach the unbanked population of the district through the launch of BLB Touch Points in partnerships with Everest Bank (one BLB) and Prabhu Bank (one BLB).
  • So far, NUBL, Chhimek and Mahila Sahayatra have introduced the use of tablets in the district.
  • Chhimek Bikash Bank has also established five Digital Points in the district.

Outreach Expansion

  • New branches of FIs have been opened to increase financial access for rural poor via partnerships with Prabhu Bank (one branch), Mahila Sahayatra (one branch), VLBS (one branch) and NMB Microfinance (two branches).

Financial Literacy Initiatives

  • Various programmes on Financial Literacy are being introduced through conventional channels as well as alternate delivery channels such as Tablets and mobile phones. These programmes have been launched in partnership with NUBL, Mahila Sahayatra, VLBS, NMB Microfinance and Chhimek.
  • NUBL is conducting financial literacy campaigns through Centre Meeting Modules and via videos the district
  • Mahila Sahayatra, NMB Microfinance and VLBS are conducting financial literacy campaigns through PGT, IVR, Centre Meeting Modules and FM Radio.
  • Chhimek Bikash Bank is conducting financial literacy campaigns through PGT and Centre Meeting Modules.

Product Development

  • Easy Business Loan has been designed and implemented in the district in partnership with NMB Microfinance.