Thursday, August 14, 2014

Kiva loan to a new country - Myanmar

Kiva loan.
Located in Central Myanmar’s Yaysagyo township, this community currently has 44 village customers, including 6 CBO (Community Based Organization) committee members who help to lead the loan program in the area. This village is located in Myanmar's dry zone, where insufficient rainfall is very common. Most villagers are Buddhist and struggle to find access to affordable credit, as the state-owned agricultural bank is not active in the area.

Most people in the village rely on traditional farming and cultivate various crops such as pigeon peas, sesame, chickpeas, cotton and groundnuts. The new loan would enable the community to pay for farming inputs such as seeds, fertilizers and compost, and lease equipment, such as tractors and bulls, for the planting and harvesting seasons.

Pictured above are the committee members from the Min Kan Village CBO: U San, U Win, U Tin, Daw Aye, Daw Myint and Daw Kyi. Included in the photo (farthest to the right) is 50-year-old U San, who has eight family members. He works not only as a farmer, but also as a construction worker in nearby villages. He used his past loan to invest in compost and fertilizer. He will invest his new loan in sesame and cotton seeds for the coming cropping season.

Additional Information

More information about this loan

This loan will be facilitated through Proximity Designs network of Community Based Organizations (CBOs) in order to support rural farmers in Myanmar’s Delta and Dry Zone regions.  Proximity worked closely with CBOs to provide relief services after Cyclone Nargis and to support village infrastructure projects.

CBOs also play a key role in providing access to microcredit.  In this model, CBO committee members support Proximity loan officers throughout the entire loan cycle. They assist in selecting village borrowers and also act as formal representatives during loan disbursement, collection of repayments and other communications. CBO committee members appear in Kiva profiles – often alongside village borrowers – as representatives of the community.

Since families rely heavily on income from farming to support their livelihoods, these loans are structured with a single bullet repayment at the end of the loan term. The timing aligns with expected harvest season when borrowers will be able to repay. All community members who receive financing through the CBO model must repay their portion of the loan before a village will be eligible to receive new funding. 

About Proximity Designs:

Proximity Designs is a non-profit social enterprise that offers loan products to help small, low income farmers increase their productivity and income. There are around 12 million farmers in Myanmar who make up more than a third of the labor force. The majority of these farmers have virtually no access to formal credit institutions.

In the absence of other financing opportunities, most small farmers in Myanmar are unable to afford the equipment, material, and labor necessary to grow their crops without the help of Proximity Designs. Kiva funding will be used to help Proximity Designs expand its agricultural microfinance operation and reach more low income, rural farmers.

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