South West: SOWEDA, SWAVIB seal deal to improve livelihood of farmers.
The agreement to this effect was signed by the two institutions on Thursday, September 21, 2023, at the head office of SOWEDA in Buea.
The Director General of SOWEDA, Dr Besong Ntui Ogork, signed on behalf of his institution while the General Manager of SWAVIB, Tanyi Thomas Ashu, penned the agreement for the microfinance institution.
The protocol agreement, according to Dr Ntui Ogork, will enable his institution to enable farmers in the fisheries and livestock sectors to enhance their activities.
“…agricultural credit is one of the main challenges farmers are facing in the crop and livestock sectors. We hope by signing this agreement, SOWEDA will be able to offer assistance to farmers of the fisheries and livestock sub sectors to enable them get credit that they cannot get from commercial banks to finance their projects,” Dr Ntui Ogork stated.
He said through the agreement, SOWEDA will make available 800 million FCFA to SWAVIB to enable them to give loans to farmers.
A small chunk of the money will be administrative cost, as the two partners must work with technical partners to make sure that viable projects are supported.
The 800 million FCFA placed at the disposal of farmers are residual funds from the livestock and fisheries development project that was executed in the region from 2002-2007. The farmers who took loans within the context of the project, repaid enabling such a scheme.
“We felt the farmers had worked hard to repay this money and some of it should go back to them so that we can continue because projects come and go but the activities must continue,” Dr Ntui Ogork explained.
Speaking to the press after the signing ceremony, the Director General of SOWEDA expressed his desire to see farmers start receiving the loans as soon as possible to meet the demand of end of year festivities for their products.
“…this agreement is timely because we know that at the end of the year, products from this sub sector are in very high demand, so farmers who can access some credit now and start a broiler farm will make huge profits,” he said.
While describing the protocol agreement as a win-win for both parties, given SWAVIB’s experience with farmers in the region, he challenged the management to make sure that the money reaches the farmers timely.
Enter SWAVIB GM
The General Manager of SWAVIB, Tanyi Thomas Ashu, said within his network of village banks, all members who qualify for the loans would receive them.
In this light, he encouraged farmers in the region to join the institution to benefit from such opportunities.
“…the income level of farmers involved in this sector will increase, as they will have more poultry products, pigs, fish and many others,: he said.
In the same light, the Deputy General Manager of SWAVIB, Dr Christine Ndie Abia, said the agreement presents a unique opportunity for women to make more money, given this is a sector they were greatly involved.
“The economy of most rural areas in Cameroon is in the hands of women because women raise most small ruminants and poultry. I think the protocol agreement that SOWEDA has signed with SWAVIB will benefit women a lot, because we are going to do more sensitisation to ensure that as many women as possible benefit by registering and becoming members of the village banks,” Dr Ndie Abia said.