Pyrethrum processor, SOPYRWA, has tasked pyrethrum farmers to develop a savings culture and embrace financial discipline to improve their welfare.
As one way of supporting the initiative, the company helped Kabatwa SACCO that is based in Nyabihu district to open a Rwf5, 000,000 account to facilitate pyrethrum farmers to access financing, especially small loans.
A similar account will be opened in Kinigi and Butaka Sectors in Musanze and Rubavu Districts A total of Rwf15 million has been set aside for the project.
“The initiative is a deliberate strategy towards promoting the savings culture and to positively impact the living standards of farmers,” said Gabriel Bizimungu, the Director General of SOPYRWA.
Jean Baptiste Munyendatwa, the president of the cooperative that is expected to benefit from the loan said it will boost their production.
He said that each member is entitled to get a loan worth Rwf50, 000 with no interest and farmers will mainly use it for small income generating activities like restaurants.
“We did not have a bank here so this is a great opportunity for farmers to do small businesses, improve their plantations and take their children to school,” he hailed.
Pyrethrum is one of the major sources of income and employment for many of the rural people in the Northern and Western provinces. It employs some 7,000 families besides being an important source of foreign exchange earning for the country.
According Munyendatwa, SOPYRWA pays Rwf1,035 per kilogram and Rwf35 is saved through the cooperative account which is shared among members at the end of every year.
SOPYRWA also provides the necessary advance funds to cooperatives management to enable timely purchase of flowers, technical assistance to promote good agricultural practices and extension services like use of fertilsers, proper spacing, and land use consolidation.