Voluntary Savings and Lending activities promise huge household income generating potential

By Augustine Masomera and other FCTZ staff, July 2014

Mrs. Ellen Sauramba is one of the beneficiaries of the Promoting Smallholder Market Engagement Project being implemented in 11 irrigation schemes from Manicaland province. The 57 year old lady stays with her disabled 68 year old husband and their 29 year old daughter and her 2 month old baby. The husband was injured at work before being laid off because of ill health. The family stays in village 5, Domborutinhira.

The family was used to borrowing scotch carts from well wishers and hiring every agricultural harvesting for transportation of maize from far away fields to the homesteads before 2013. 

Mrs. Sauramba joined Voluntary Savings Lending (VSL) in 2013. She borrowed $300 at a monthly interest of 20 % and bought a scotch cart for $425 including transport. The cart is rented out at $5 and $10 for transporting a load of maize and firewood respectively. “The cart is our cash cow”, said Mrs. Sauramba.

Mrs. Ellen Sauramba showing her scotch cart mainly financed by VSL

After repaying the first loan, Mrs. Sauramba borrowed money from her group to purchase 5 indigenous chickens. Currently she has 50 chickens. To date she has realized more than $30 from selling of chickens that is used on items that require small amounts like grinding mill fees.  “In addition chickens have provided us and our visitors nutritious food in the form of eggs and meat.” added Mrs. Sauramba’s husband.

Mrs. Sauramba borrowed money from her group for the third time when her husband was ill. She got $200 that was paid back over 2 months. The money was used to take her husband to hospital. 

“My VSL group members have supported me in taking care of my husband during times of illness and getting started on promising IGAs.” said Mrs. Sauramba.