|Continuous Engagement Of Self Help Group (Shg) Members From 50 Shgs (From VDP And Other Villages) With The Banking System In Boudh District|
Maa Bhairabi Farmers Club Federation has 100 Farmers Club as members from Harbhanga block of Boudh district. The MBFCF is engaged for economic development of villages through farmers clubs and has successfully implemented programmes like System of Rice Intensification, seed replacement in onion, paddy, arhar and mung. The Federation also providing hand holding support to SHGs for marketing of the products by establishment of Rural Mart, conduct of skill development training like tailoring, vermin composting, mushroom cultivation, dairy, vegetable cultivation, low cost godown construction, arranging the visit of SHGs to various melas etc. The holistic development of Pitambarpur village has encouraged the Federation to replicate the success in other villages. Various issues like recovery, low lending and low financial inclusion are being addressed by the Farmers Club and its Federation regularly. Increase of credit and recovery is the hallmark of the villages having farmers clubs. The banks are also willing to finance in villages where they participate whole heartedly.
In this light, the Federation has started to address the low recovery, lending of the SHGs as an agenda in all the 100 villages. The present project proposal envisages intensive interventions in 05 VDP villages which will be further upscale to other villages through external financial assistance or raising own resources through panchayats, DRDA. CSR etc. The project will have a two-sided effect: it will improve the performance capability and credit absorption capacity, improve recovery and continuous SHG bank linkage programme.
The programme has achieved its objective by its sheer number and geographical spread to each village. The programme is managed well within the banking system’s assimilative capacity. The assimilative level of each village and banking system was known and corrective measures in the form of circular, training, linkages. This careful management has ensured a closed loop system in the minds of SHGs. The sheer number and burden on the banking system is halting the progress of SHG to a higher level. They have inculcated savings and lending habit in a mechanized way, stagnated at a particular plane and not growing at the particular way expected making the banking system lose interest. The SHGs as a viable business proposition also is rapidly losing its charm and one or two time credit linkage to satisfy the number target is presently well performed by the banking system.
The task is simple but complex. The SHG is required to demonstrate its capacity to sustain and to absorb higher bank credit, proper utilization of credit, and maintenance of books of account based on which the character of SHG is reflected to the banks as individual one time interaction with bank is becoming difficult. The answer is continuous interactions to avail not only higher credit but participate in other credit plus activities.
KALPAVRIKSH envisages starting up a decentralised grass root level institution building process through honest bypassing of the intermediaries, making the SHG relevant to the bank branches, addressing the problem of recovery, continuous information flow from the bank branches to the SHGs and coordinated efforts to make successful. The emphasis is more on the demand side than on the supply side.
The villages we initiated to implements are VDP villages i.e., Pitambarpur, Badabagbar, Kankala, Khandahota and Bamanda in Harbhanga block of Boudh district, Orissa. After the success, the project will be extended to other villages based on the models established in these 05 villages.
The aim is to get as many stakeholders as possible to participate and actively contribute. Most importantly, the feeling of ownership for the project among the SHGs and improvement of the local environment in the form of trust and recovery is vital component of the initiative. With the above objectives the villages have been selected where the initial groundwork in respect of identification of SHGs, survey, institution building, importance of recovery, strategy to jump the vicious circle of low recovery and lending etc., have already been started and social mobilization the key component is well established and known.
The objective of the initiative was to take the SHGs of the identified villages beyond the level of savings, credit linkage and empowerment to the level of employment and social security. The prerequisites for employment and social security is to identify the activity, maintenance of proper books of account and continuous liaison with the banks as higher credit is subjective discretion of the Banks which is expected to be realised and accepted. Two staff are engaged exclusively for a period of two years to take the SHGs to achieve the three objectives well defined:
(i) Maintenance of books of account
(ii) Continuous liaison with banks and
(iii) Identification of the economic activity.
The activity identified are dairy farming, fodder farming, vermin composting, dairy feed plants, primary milk processing and storage, onion cultivation, grading and storage and paddy through System of Rice Intensification. Two individuals at Federation level will be employed to provide the back up support in the form of design of the survey proforma, establishment of basic database and monitoring. The Farmers club or the active SHG will implement the project at village level.
The villagers are actively involved in the project. To achieve the involvement and culture of contribution, public awareness campaign in the form of films, exposures, information have been done on a continuous basis. Even a charter for implementation of the project, oath and small penalty is the part of strategy. To ensure participation and feeling for the programme, a gradual payment system are introduced. Each SHG will contribute with a monthly fee of Rs.50 and deposited in the account of an SHG as agreed by all the SHGs of the village. The individualistic character of the SHG, close functioning of the SHGs, absence of transparency and non exchange of ideas are some of the impediments for the financial growth of SHGs. These aspects are also addressed.
Kalpavriksh entrusted and built the FC capacity to start the programme with the Farmers Club members who are implementing the VDP programme bringing all the SHGs to one place and ensuring exchange of ideas and reflect their functioning. The self analysis will be bought to know the constraints and how to eradicate the same. FC were engaged and given responsibility to collect the monthly dues and pass on to the identified SHGs for first six months. Thereafter the same are managed by SHGs. There will be no obligation on any SHGs to pay the dues and collection will also continue despite non payment by few SHGs.
NGOs and enlightened individuals
Experienced individuals, NGOs, SHGs, Government departments were approached for imparting innovation and training.
Nirmal Seed and Sansar Agropol Seeds companies who are actively involved in these villages, Fertiliser Company are approached for funding the project under PPP mode. The seed production programme implemented in these villages will be implemented with the support of the companies who will provide training on hybrid seed production, arhar seed production or onion seed production.
Government and Panchayats
The implementation of Natural Resource Management through SHG can help chieve the desired objective as the farmers of these villages are engaged in such type of activity. Further various infrastructure support also have been provided by Government in these area such as onion godown, shelter for animal display etc.
- Identification of Good entry Group for formation of other Groups.
- The social mobilisation in the formation and linkage was limited. Limited to individual.
- The self managed village level institution is the missing link. Farmers clubs.
- The inability to access the Government machinery for public resources.
- Community identification of individual to adopt a particular activity based on need. Self identification replaced by community identification – successfully implemented by Farmers clubs in these villages.
- Economic activities is expansion of traditional activities with little innovation, diversification or adopt of new activities. SRI, High yielding cows, seed production of onion, milk processing etc.
- There is no communication between the SHGs, Government and the banks.
- Partnerships are virtually absent.
- The sense of ownership was missing.
- Farmers clubs were the entry Group for all other Groups as they have acquired the technique through interaction with various stake holders.
- The social mobilisation techniques was utilized for formation, linkage and activity linked activity which is bringing transparency and making free the groups from dominance and hijacking.
- The Farmers clubs and its Federation are providing the organizational identity to the SHGs which are creating more trust, involvement of all member and equal participation.
- The FC and its Federation because of its experience will ensure the reach of resources to the SHGs till they acquire capability to do the same.
- The identification of individual suitable to take up the activity based on aptitude and need helped solve most of the problem.
- New and innovative activities already identified with market linkages like Seed production in PPP mode, Dairy and SRI have been introduced.
- The communication between the SHGs, Government and the banks is the most complex issue because of the organization loyalty, different invisible agenda, corruption and trust deficit. Continuous interaction will minimize these conflicts and communication process will reach higher level.
- Absence of and non integration of credit plus activities.
- The credit plus activities like insurance, seeds supply, rural mart, soil testing, etc., is presently provided by the FC which will be integrated with SHGs.
- The SHGs will work in partnerships with Farmers Clubs and its Federation, panchayats, banks, DRDA and NGOs. Partnerships are virtually absent.
- The ownership of the project is the sine qua non for its success. The ownership of the SHG group and efforts in that direction will be the sole objective of the project.
Now we Aim at:
The continuous bank linkage programme as a future investment for clean and honest bank linkage programme
- The CBLP aims for maximum communication among the various stakeholders for maximum and optimum lending and recovery through identification of innovative and diversified activity.
- Identification and Gradation of Group for higher credit linkage over a defined time period.
- Encouragement of individual Entrepreneur within Group
- Introduction of machine and technology
- Identification of sub activity dominated by woman and exclusive training on that activity.
- Linkage with companies and export houses.
Measurable in Numbers
- Increase in total savings of the 50 SHGs by 30% in each year.
- Increase of lending by 50% in each year.
- Identification of activity and once chosen its continuity for at least three years to measure its success.
- Establishment of one entrepreneur from each group ensuring income of Rs.1000/- per month.
- Multiple activity credit to at least one member from each group.
- The methodology followed will be on the premises that all the SHGs in the village will be nurtured by the Farmers clubs or one active Group.
- The Farmers club and its Federation have promoted 100 FCs. In various SHGs programmes the FCs take the lead in putting their demand.
- The Farmers clubs is the implementing agency of the VDP.
- The village level institution will be strengthened and the SHG will be linked to Farmers clubs for technology transfer, identification of sub activity and linkages for marketing.
- There will be individual self rating by the SHGs, by the Farmers clubs and the Farmers club Federation to know the status of the SHGs. The rating will be conducted in each quarter as per the rating chart given in the Annexure where emphasis is for more credit off take.
5. RISKS AND EXTERNAL FACTORS
- The sustainability of project after the grants/ assistance is over.
- The household fee of Rs.50 per month is another risk factor.
- The resistance from the Group leaders and members to adjust to the new ways of lending.
- The acceptability of Farmer clubs to the SHG and other stakeholders.
Maa Bhairabi Farmers Club Federation
- With the Handholding and Technical Support of KALPAVRIKSH MBFCF was formed.
- MBFCF is the federation of 100 Farmers clubs registered under Societies act 1860 and operating in Harbhanga block of Boudh district.
- MBFCF is implementing various programmes through support from NABARD, Government and other agencies.
- The Pilot project on lead crops with a financial outlay of 56 lakh is implemented by the MBFCF.
- 2000 Farmers have been covered through System of Rice Intensification.
- 250 Vermin compost units have been established by the active participation of Farmers clubs.
- Propagation of Dairy has been encouraged in all villages.
- Plantation, organic farming and drip sprinkler irrigation has been adopted in all villages.
- The organization is engaged as a catalyst for large scale multiplication of successful interventions like SRI, vermin compost, organic manures, micro nutrients, community mobilization. The organization is also implementing VDP of NABARD in five villages.
The major principles of the Federation are to complete the above activities through the Farmers Clubs. The staff of Federation is allowed up to the entrance of the village and passes on the baton to the Farmers club of the concerned village. The Principles are simple and as follow:
- Village Ownership: The entire project is implemented by Farmers Clubs and they represent the village. No villagers are allowed to directly report to the Federation. Resources from the federation are also not given to any individual but to the Farmers Clubs. The FC is also responsible for wrong selection and bottlenecks.
- Sustainability: All the projects implemented are based on its mass scale replication and sustainability. These are not words but actions by the Farmers Club Federation. A few examples are SRI, seed production programme, vermin compost units, procurement of indent for seeds and its distribution.
- Strengthening of existing structures – The scheme will be implemented through FC who is well aware of the funding procedures, contribution of individual family, resolving conflict, resolving individual non participation. The fact have to accepted that it is not easy for outside agencies to comply the various components of SHG pilot project like owning, 100% participation and contribution, sustainability without grant etc.
- Federation: At present, the federation has one agriculture expert, one programme manager and accountant in the office. The federation also has 6 Para workers to work in the field. The most importantly the federation also has one paid coordinator in each village. There also lead crop specific leaders in each village; the federation have 36 lead farmers’ onion experts in 36 villages. The Farmers clubs are the supreme authority in the village and all the above staff only supplement the efforts of the farmers club and does not interfere in the functioning of the farmers clubs.
Continuous bank linkage is the need of the future. The good work done through credit bank linkage is required to be sustainable through building of grass root level institutions by passing the intermediaries. We have to start a beginning. In Boudh district this is new project and its beginning will definitely induce other villages to step into the model within short span of time.