Notes on an Interview…

Mbulumbulu Farmers’ Savings and Loans Society (SACCOs)                   June 5th, 2012

  • When was the SACCOs started?  –   February 10th, 2009
  • How many founding members were there?  –  242; 67 women and 175 men
  • Why did you start the SACCOs?  –  To make savings and loans available to growers
  • Who helped you get started? – The Evangelical Church of Tanzania and the Uchumi Commercial Bank helped to start the SACCOs
  • When did the World Food Programme become involved? –   2010
  • How many members are there now? –  439; 155 women and 256 men and 28 youth
  • What was the main reason for forming a SACCOs? –  To organize into a group in order to generate savings upon which to borrow.  One shilling deposited  in the Uchumi  bank generated two shillings in loans;  this is still going on to this day
  • What services do you offer now? – All training we receive is always shared amongst our members
  • Do you have a loans officer?  – All members apply for loans through our accountant here at our office; there is an application deadline each month.  Monies are then transferred to the SACCOs   Uchumi bank account  with the bank doing the actual loan transfer from the SACCOs account  to each member’s account
  • What is the average size loan? – One million shillings ($630)
  • Do you offer Mobile Banking? – Not yet but in the future. There is a definite need to do this and we will do so as soon as we can move into our new office. (This new office  courtesy of P4P  financial assistance)
  • What is the storage capacity of your warehouse? – 300 metric tonnes
  • What crops do you grow? – In order of quantity and profitability:  Corn followed by both  Wheat and Barley, then Beans.   We also grow pigeon peas, sunflowers and flowers  (for seed)
  • Sales Record?  – In 2009 everyone sold individually.  2010, crops sold to individual traders from Arusha.  In 2011  200 metric tonnes were sold to the World Food Programme and the remainder  to individual traders in Arusha, and in 2012, 67.8 metric tonnes  went to WFP
  • What are your main problems farming? – 1) Climate  (too little rain at the wrong time)

                                                                             2) High cost of inputs (seeds and chemicals)

                                                                             3) Markets (permanent, reliable, profitable) 

                                                                             4) Transportation (costly)

  • Do you have plans for a computer? – Yes, we could definitely use a computer. We hope to encourage some reserves within the SACCOs to purchase one.  This plan is not yet within our budget.  Also there is a lack of electricity here.  Solar power is a possibility.
  • What is your major challenge? What would you like to learn?  –  We need to increase our production, our production has been dropping
  • What is your average yield of maize? – 15 bags (50 kgs/bag) per acre.

WA Dawson   WFP/P4P-CUSO/VSO Volunteer

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One Response to Notes on an Interview…

  1. loumdel says:

    humble beginnings often lead to great things…who knows…maybe through this blog someone might know someone who knows some research group who can hook them up with a solar computer….?!

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