STRENGTHEN 100 VULNERABLE HOUSEHOLDS IN CALABAR
Fourth Quarter Report 7/9/2019
In the quarter under review, the project team’s effort was focused on ensuring the beneficiaries demonstrated the skills acquired during the financial literacy training by promoting and marketing of their farm produce, record keeping, budgeting and expenditure. In order to promote market value for the produce from our beneficiaries’ farms, the project team with the collaboration of the agro-economist consultant scouted for off-takers who would readily purchase the produce at fair prices, to enable the farmers plan for the next planting period. The crops harvested by our beneficiaries were corn, okra and pepper.
Activities conducted during this period include:
- Project performance review meeting.
- Key Performance Indicator review (KPI)
- Marketing farm produce and sales
- Documentation (Keeping of Financial Records)
- Financial projection analysis and saving group
- Fund raising and enrollment of the last 60 beneficiaries
Project Performance Review Meeting
The PCEF project team, agro-consultant and the beneficiaries took time to review the process from the enrollment of households, plan preparation, soil treatment, planting, weeding, pest control, harvesting and sales. The team members evaluated the processes and appreciated the beneficiaries who invested their time and energy in the project. The team also expressed displeasure at some beneficiaries who through their lackadaisical attitude, had not invested the effort required to achieve the agreed upon objectives in their households. They charged all caregivers to maximize the opportunity to better their lives as the project had a fixed life span.
The agro-economist during the meetings, emphasized on the importance of keeping good records and adhering to technical instructions. One of the beneficiaries on behalf of others sang a song of thanksgiving.
She said “this project came at a good time and I thank everybody that put money together to help us. As I sold my produce, I and my children have fed well with the farm produce and with the money realized from the sales. I will enroll the children in school this September as the savings groups will enable me borrow to add up and pay for their fees” .
Finally, everyone present attested to the fact that the outcome of the project was remarkable and it would create a great impact in due course.
KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS:
Report per each indicator
1. Number of Caregivers Enrolled (Target 100, Achieved 40)
2. Number of OVC Enrolled (Target 400, Achieved 160)
3. Number of beneficiaries served (Target 500 Achieved 200)
4. Number of caregivers enrolled into saving group (Target 40 Achieved 25)
5. Number of beneficiaries with improved vulnerability status (Target 40 Achieved 35)
MARKETING, SALES AND RECORD KEEPING
Marketing as one the key elements of the financial literacy instruction that was emphasized during the training. However, the beneficiaries didn’t demonstrate this knowledge and relied on the technical team to assist in the marketing of the farm produce. This is a challenge that needs to be addressed in future harvests as it is unsustainable. However there presently exists a strong collaboration between the off-takers and the beneficiaries with the technical team standing in as middle men to ensure fairness. The farm produce sold was bought at fair prices by the off-takers. Most beneficiaries were observed to have recorded their transactions (income/expenditure) in their farm record books.
FINANCIAL PROJECTION ANALYSIS AND SAVINGS GROUP
This part of the report will focus on the critical analysis of the input, activities, output, outcome and impact. Data from the baseline (Where they were) will be compared with the present situation (Where they are) and were we want them to be. Ten households (HH) were randomly selected for this analysis. The result has shown that the 31 households which had their harvest ready and made sales that were averaging below 18,000 monthly earned above 27,000 on the average over the three months in the quarter after sales of their farms produce. This was confirmed by our monitoring and evaluation team after analysis of their record books. This trend must not only be sustained but built on. Our goal is that these households will eventually average N50,000 per month or 600,000 per annum. With careful management they would be in a position to take responsibility of their nutrition, clothing, education and healthcare bills etc. The evidence is that the livelihoods of the households participating in the project are being changed. This encourages to solicit for more support as we attempt to reach the project target of empowering 100 vulnerable households.
FUND RAISING AND ENROLLMENT OF THE LAST 60 BENEFICIARIES
At project inception the management and project team of PCEF set the goal of taking 100 households from core poverty to financial sustainability in two years. This was to be achieved by empowering 100 caregivers with basic financial literacy knowledge, technical skills in cultivation of crops, health education, psychosocial support, life building skills, parenting skills and nutrition education. With the available resources the Foundation is in the process of achieving 40% of this target, and will outline a strategy to scale up its outreach quarterly till it achieves its target of 100 households over time.
MONITORING AND EVALUATION
The PCEF project monitoring and evaluation team visited all the project sites with monitoring tools. Adopting a participatory and discovering approach, the tools were administered and the following were the outcome.
- Number of enrolled beneficiaries = 40
- Average earnings per month for the quarter for the households with a harvest = 27k
- Number of beneficiaries who are ready to re-invest and replant = 24%
- Number of HH with accurate farm records = 60%
- Number of beneficiaries who have joined saving groups = 50%
- Number of beneficiaries who are saving above 1000 in a week = 20%.
From the results of the visits, the team resolved that, the number of home visits should be increased to six. The team also agreed that beneficiaries who are saving less than N1000 should be encouraged to increase their savings amount in a week, and a technical person must in be present at all savings group meetings. It was also agreed that the group account opening process should be fast-tracked in order to achieve 100% in each indicator.
CONCLUSION: In the fourth phase of the project a lot of effort went in to ensuring that the produce from the farms were sold at a fair prices and financial records were properly kept. Also the project team identified new households for enrollment by administering the household vulnerability assessment form and child status index forms. Our next activity is to link all Village Savings and Loans Associations to the bank for account opening and to source for funding to enroll the already identified households.
We would like to close by appreciating everyone who has partnered to change the livelihoods of forty households, please continue to partner with us as we build on what we have achieved in successive quarters and incrementally scale up the project to reach the goal of 100 households.