Most Dagomba families make a living from agriculture. There is plenty of fertile land, but many people still experience a ‘lean season’ before the harvest each year when they do not have enough to eat. Project Share provides loans to small-scale farmers in order to invest in seed and preparing the land so that they can increase their production. A small loan can potentially change the life of a whole family for good!
Micro-credit loan scheme
Since 2006, we have been offering families a small-scale loan to help them farm. The loan enables them to hire a tractor to plough their land. As they may otherwise have to do it all by hand, this enables them to farm a larger area and so directly increases their yield. Part of the loan is also used for fertilizer, to help improve the quality and quantity of the harvest. At harvest time the family pay back the loan, plus a little extra to invest in next year’s farming season. Within a period of 3-5 years a family should become independent of this loan scheme, as they should have increased their yield enough to support the family by themselves. The loans given are usually around £30-£50.
We have also given loans to a number of women to begin small businesses. One lady, Fouzia*, benefited from a business loan. She says:
“With the help of Project Share’s loan I began a business selling plastic bags. I have made enough profit from my business to not only pay back the loan, but also to enable me to buy food for my family and pay for my sons to go to school. I also bought a bicycle so that one son didn’t have to walk to school. Once I have finished paying off the loan I would like to expand the business further. I am very thankful for the loan because I am now independent. It has given me peace as I am no longer worried about how to take care of the children and myself. It has also strengthened my faith as I know that God is looking after me.”
The agricultural fund is currently only running on a small-scale as we do not have a team member who can commit the time the scheme needs to run successfully. We hope to be able to develop the scheme further in the future, and extend it to include education on good farming practices and harvest management.
Read more about agriculture in Gushegu district.