Cosma seeks funding to establish and maintain a community fund in the Masaka sub-region of Uganda to re-capitalize existing farmer cooperatives which have faced an unexpected financial crisis due COVID 19. These member cooperatives will be able to borrow money from the community fund to help individual member farmers overcome socio-economic hardship arising from the COVID 19 lock down.
In Uganda, agriculture employs 73% of the total labor force and agribusiness hinges heavily on savings in village cooperatives. Due to the COVID-19 lockdowns, most village cooperatives are no longer allowed to meet to maintain regular savings and borrowing. The lockdowns have rendered many people jobless, and most farmers have pulled out their savings to take care of basic household needs during the lockdown. This has drastically drained the working capital of most village cooperatives.
Cosma has been critical to establishing these village cooperatives and maintaining their longevity. This new fundraising effort aims to comfortably re-capitalize the cooperatives, allowing for extended credit services (as soft cash and input/seed loans). This will revitalize and strengthen structured agribusiness and farming among cooperative members, enabling them to generate money for regular savings in the community fund as well recover from any other economic shocks.
Well-funded grass-roots agribusiness cooperatives such as these strengthen communities' capacities to collectively weather economic shocks. Our solution additionally fosters strategic financial planning among rural farmers by encouraging savings and tracking of creditworthiness of individual farmers. This improves the financial wellbeing of individual farmers and their families, and increases the community's access to larger financial markets, with a greater goal of community poverty reduction.