KYABANDARA WOMENS’ GROUP (KWG)
The group started in 2010 with 10 members. Began working with NUMA in 2012 and membership has grown to 24 as a result. The group has a board which is elected every two years.
Membership fee was 3,000 at inception which was used to pay for group registration and constitution documents. Membership fee has now increased to 40,000 which is put into a savings kitty. In addition, each member contributes 5kg of millet which is sold and added to the savings. Total savings stand at UGX 1,200,000 which is saved with Mikyerere SACCO in Mikyerere trading centre.
For every 10,000 borrowed, a member pays 500 as interest. Lending period is 3 months and loans range from UGX 30,000 to UGX 150,000. The loans are generally used to pay school fees and hire labour during planting and weeding.
Benefits of working with NUMA
KWG existed as a self-help group for financial purposes and were involved in making of crafts. Farmers were working individually and only planted millet for home consumption which only needed a tin or two.
The group started supplying NUMA in 2012 with 1 ton of millet that was not cleaned and this was rejected.
The group received training from NUMA on good agronomic practices including post-harvest handling techniques. NUMA also introduced them to the growing of maize and soy beans.
Group now supplies NUMA with 10 tons or more of millet per season and is not rejected dues to the training. The grain is able to stay fresh for a year without any discolouration taking place due to the improvement in post-harvest handling.
NUMA buys the crops in bulk and pays cash on delivery. NUMA provides tarpaulins on credit which is then recovered at the selling time.
The women have rented a store at UGX 30,000 per month which can store up to 10 tons. The store is also used as a group meeting venue. At the time of the visit, there were 3 tons of millet in the store and another 3 tons at a member’s home.
The women can now contribute to the family income by paying school fees from sales, buying food and household utensils, providing a balance diet. The homes have been improved with new iron sheets for roofing.
The women have earned respect in the community because they now have money and are determined to uphold the status. The income levels have gone up due to the various commodities they now sell.
When NUMA delays to pick the millet, the women get cash strapped as this is their main source of earning.
The women need money for labour to carry produce from the farms to the homes for drying.
Bags for the clean produce still remain a challenge as the members don’t have money for this.