Micro-credit for disadvantaged farmers in Laos

by Social and Economic Developers Association (SEDA)

There are more than 50 villages where SEDA has identified the need
for microfinance. Credit is essential for production of cash crops
including rice, vegetables, livestock, mushroom, peanuts, fruits, tea and
coffee. Turn out very establishing and the raise awareness brings more
members. SEDA does not believe that it is appropriate or desirable for
outside organizations to lend its own capital. Inspired by the work of
Sahavikasa, an Indian cooperative development organization, SEDA believes
that mutual self-help will result in the durable and enduring results that
will benefit members not only this year, but for decades to come. SEDA is
in the process to expands the work with international partners like Global
Giving, and new partners as on it way to help outreach these efforts from
the pilot project to social enterprises base on business model. At this
stage the savings and credit cooperatives that benefit all the communities
in many region of the global world, if SEDA achieves this with international
supports, we will be the first cooperative successful in next two to three
years to come. We look forward to achieving far more in 2011 with large
numbers of new members participating in the program. We do urge many
donors, supporters, partners to continue your help us achieve what we will
needs to do. SEDA will also invites the central bank of Bank of Lao
government to also matching with our needs to help make this mission of
cooperative be successful in the future.

On the 13th of October SEDA-Laos staff went to Lao Ngarm District in Salavanh Province. The trip was part of a promising partnership between SEDA and four villages in the area. SEDA worked with farmers in the villages Ban Tok Luk, Ban Oun Bang, Ban Oun Nyai and Ban Oun Noy as well as with government officials from provincial and district levels.
SEDA’s objectives for the trip were (1) to update basic information about the villages, such as the number of people and the number of farmers in the villages and (2) work with the farmers to form a Farmers Cooperative.
Out of the four villages there were approximately 258 farmers that participated in the Farmers Cooperative events. SEDA ran workshops to explain the Farmers Cooperative program.
The Farmers Cooperative program will give the farmers the opportunity to develop their raw products (coffee and peanuts) into packaged finished goods. It is a long road with several steps. If the farmers process their products they can sell them for a much higher price and thus receive more income. During SEDA’s workshops the first steps towards Farmers Cooperatives were taken, as each village elected a committee and developed a policy for the Farmers Cooperative. The farmers also designed their own logo for their products.

The goal with the partnership is for the villagers to receive training (in how to process their products and how to sell them on the national and international market) and to make sure the farmers can sell their products without the interference of “middle men”. This will, in turn, create sustainable development within these villages as it guarantees secure income. SEDA’s goal is to support the Farmers Cooperative to become independent, as this will result in many generations being lifted out of poverty. SEDA will support the framers not only through the partnership but also through a micro-credit program.
The farmer members and SEDA have lobbied the government for almost 10 months. Finally, in October 2010 SEDA

and the famers got the chance to sit down together and discuss the future of the Farmers Cooperative for 2011.
It has been a long process, the road towards the Farmers Cooperative. The workshops that took place in October meant for both the involved farmers and for SEDA that the dream of a partnership and a way out of poverty for the villagers is now becoming a reality.

This is a very exciting mission. Now, SEDA and the farmers are looking forward to see what 2011 will bring.
SEDA needs your supports for the Farmers Cooperative programme to make SEDA’s and the farmers’ vision a reality. To support farmers to get out of poverty please make a donation to the project, by visiting: http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/micro-credit-for-disadvantaged-farmers-in-laos/
To see more photos from the workshops, visit: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=234559&id=93076021515&ref=mf


Farmers learning about micro-credit with fish bait
Farmers learning about micro-credit with fish bait

SEDA works with giving micro-credit to women and farmers. A pilot project was implemented in January 2010 which involved planting rice and growing livestock. This is the second village which SEDA has tested the effectiveness of giving fish baits as a micro-credit. For example, each household is given 500 fish baits, trained how to breed fish, and when they have successfully bred many fish, they repay 1000 fish baits as interest. Those 1000 fish baits are then lent to other villages, and the cycle continues, allowing farmers to create their own sustainable livelihoods and helping victims of the typhoon. Currently this is a pilot project and SEDA will provide 137 families with micro-credits. Each family will receive 500 baits.

Micro-credit and Biodiversity Protection Project for Coffee/Durian Farmers. SEDA is cooperating with the 4 villages and the Lao Govt. Department of Agriculture in the Lao Ngarm District of Salavanh Province for a project aimed at protecting biodiversity while helping coffee and durian farmers receive fair prices for their products. Farmers in this area practice intercropping with durian and coffee so their harvests are constantly cycling for income year-round. SEDA will implement workshops focused on biodiversity, sales and marketing so farmers can reach the upscale markets their products are suited for. Micro-credit will provide farmers with the funding they need for packaging. SEDA’s founder and management team recently visited the farmers to be sure that this project will reach the goals. This ongoing project will promote biodiversity and enhance entrepreneurship. The ultimate goal is for the farmers to achieve independent and sustainable income.

SEDA’s founder/ chief executive recently visited the farmers participating in our fingerling fish micro-credit program. Due to low rains early in the rainy season the ponds don’t currently have enough water to hold fish. SEDA is still trying to raise sufficient funds to get this project to truly grow legs. As the rain has been delayed in August, the donation of fingering has been also delayed. Only the In Ban Ha Long village has water, director of agriculture in Attappeu reported “Only our village has mother nature support”. After inspection he is sure that there is enough water and the fingering can donate in late August. SEDA is heading to south coming week to order 26,600 fingerlings for typhoon victims and disadvantaged farmers in Attappeu. There are over 600 people who will benefit from this project.

A team of four SEDA staff traveled south this week to visit four Attappeu villages affected by Typhoon Ketsana. These villages sustained damage to more than 45 homes and lost approximately 90% of their rice and vegetable crops during the typhoon. We met with village representatives to discuss both their immediate, and long-term needs and goals.

Two villages urgently require building materials to repair and rebuild homes and storage buildings damaged by Ketsana. They also need rice and vegetable seeds before they can sow their next crop and begin the long recovery process. We are hoping to assist with these most immediate needs quickly and effectively.To facilitate long-term development, each of these villages needs irrigation infrastructure. This would enable villagers to produce a second rice crop each year and meet their own rice consumption needs. Excess rice could be sold to generate much needed extra income. Irrigation could also reduce rice-crop labor hours and enable villagers to spend more time growing vegetable crops, thus increasing both their nutritional intake and their income.

Only a small percentage of households own working livestock such as cows and buffalos, and many more are needed to make farming more efficient, and less labour intensive. Villagers are also keen to improve the yields of their cash crops via the introduction of both new techniques and varieties. We are hoping to work in partnership with these villagers to provide agricultural support and advice in the future.

To help this vulnerable group rebuild their lives, and their communities, please support us at:



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Organization Information

Social and Economic Developers Association (SEDA)

Location: Vientiane - Afghanistan
Website: http:/​/​seda-laos.org
Project Leader:
Souly QuachAngkham
Vientiane, Laos Lao People's Democratic Republic

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