The new Microcredit Project in Fiadanana
Two microcredit projects Raising pigs are currently active in Fiadanana and Fiarenana and are distinctly different.
In the village of Fiarenana the women's group organized themselves into three groups with a very elaborate and ambitious plan: Zahana provided the seed funds and they bought 3 gilts (bigger female pigs), with the intention of raising their own piglets. The plan was to raise 2 litters of piglets with each gilt and then sell the sow, to repay the Zahana loan. The piglets were to be distributed among the women, so each of them could start their own pig-raising project. In the future each woman who got their own gilt and sicessfully got piglets would be entitled to keep one female piglet with the intention of giving the others away for free to other women until every woman in the group would have their own pig.
Each gilt costs approximately US$50. To kick start the microcredit project three gilts were bought. Two of them had four piglets each and all piglets survived so far. One had six piglets but unfortunately died after giving birth. Consequently Zahana bought another, or fourth gilt, to replace the one that had died, so the team could continue to participate in the microcredit project.
In our other village, Fiadanana two women opted individually to participate in a piglet micro credit project again. As we have done in the past, they bought a medium size piglet, raised it for three months with the intention of selling it. Each medium size piglet cost aprox. $20, a huge amount of cash, way out of the reach for any Malagasy farmer. After 3 month it can be sold for $40, yielding great access to cash and enabling them to pay back the loan in full.
Stay tuned for our next project: chicken. According to our master gardener Jean, who as a key community organizer sees ans talks with a lot of people, a chicken disease going around at the moment, so we decided to postpone the launch until the danger passes. The chicken coupes are already being built in anticipation of the future launch.