Unlike other developed areas and countries, the rural wards and villages of Karagwe do not have convinent access to large banks and cannot benefit from their services. In response to this, KADERES began supporting Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOS) over 10 years ago. Currently, KADERES is supporting 15 SACCOS in the District of Karagwe (see overview map).
The 15 SACCOS are located in the following villages: Kituntu, Igurwa, Kimuli, Kyerwa, Kaisho, Kikakanya, Nyabiyonza, Chakanya, Nyaishozi, Kiosa, and Nyakatuntu.
With assistance from HIVOS, the SACCOS we are supporting have made it possible for peasants, farmers, and others to have cash savings. Before, these individuals had their savings in objects (animals, land, etc.). When trading and selling these objects for money to buy basic needs, the people were getting a “throw away” price resulting in a huge loss. Now, through SACCOS based in rural villages and wards, social economic programs have been promoted so the people are able to receive loans to start small businesses, send their children to school, harvest their crops, etc. There is no better way to support the rural community in a sustainable way than through providing the opportunity to save money and atain affordable loans, which will carry over into all parts of their lives.
With the intention of connecting the SACCOS leaders together, KADERES has facilitated the formation of the Karagwe SACCOS Network Limited. The leaders meet quarterly to discuss the performance of the SACCOS, share new information and experiences to learn from each other and create new strategies to face the obstacles they are encountering. The main objectives of this program are:
To coordinate and advise on members developmental activities
To receive management reports from members and act upon them accordingly
To develop communication/information systems
To build capacity of members, committees, and secretaries through educational programs
To make contact with various donors on resource mobilization
To become a financial institution which is owned by it’s members
One of the projects KADERES has most recently developed is the Warehouse Receipt System. This program is specifically designed to enable the peasants of Karagwe to receive fair price for their organic agriculture, which is primarily beans, maize, and coffee. This is how the program functions:
The peasants participating must be SACCOS members who, after harvesting, will transport their crops to a warehouse that is managed by KADERES Peasants Development PLC (a company under KADERES aiming to facilitate SACCOS members to operate the Warehouse Receipt System at affordable costs). After bringing his/her crops, the peasant will be given a voucher indicating the quantity and quality of the crop he/she has brought and the value of the commodity. The peasant can choose to either take the voucher to the SACCOS and receive up to 75% of the total value, OR use at the SACCOS as collateral to attain a loan. Once the commodities have been sold, the peasant will be paid the remaining balance minus the operating costs.
With this system, the peasants will receive a far higher price and exclude the “middle-man” they encounter when selling at the local markets.