One of the key issues identified by local community members was the difficulty experienced in borrowing money to start new business ventures for agricultural activities. In response, GIZ (German Technical Cooperation) has been contracted to establish village banking services.
Commercial banks only have branches in the district capital, and will only provide loans to those who have assets – and many people in rural areas do not.
The project is increasing access to finance by establishing village banks across the district. A total of 35 village banks had been set up by the end of 2012. Members are able to access loans without providing collateral, and some are provided with financial literacy or business development training.
If people are able to save and borrow money, and also access support for small business development, they may be able to consider a range of livelihood options and thereby improve the quality of their lives.
Village banks help increase people’s options for how they earn a living.