May 4, 2010, 2:32 PM
The need for us to have a vibrant and active VISACAs (Village Savings and Credit Associations) in the country, is indeed vital to the country's socio-economic development.
It's disheartening to learn that out of the 74 VISACAs operating in the country majority of them are not doing well.
The weaknesses of VISACAs are a cause for concern and we hope that the formation of a union body for our VISACAs would no doubt boost the viability of this great institution.
It's very important that we give more support to VISACAs since microfinance institutions do play a significant role in the socio-economic development of our country.
Since many of our poor farmers cannot afford to provide collateral requirements for loans in the conventional banks, it's good that we pay more emphasis on the VISACAs.
The sustainability of VISACAs is a daunting challenge, and we therefore urge the Central Bank to continue to play its regulatory framework to help strengthen this good institution.
The need to build the capacity of the VISACA managers and committees is also significant and should top the agenda of the newly established body, which in other words should be the 'National Assembly' of the VISACAs in the country.
More incentive for management committees and cashiers could also boost the microfinance institutions.
Proper monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems also need to be put in place to ensure customer confidence. The primary objective of the M&E officers that is the collection and analysis of the information necessary for tracking progress and impact, enabling decision-makers to diagnose and resolve problems.
Once again, we commend the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Ministry of Agriculture, Central Bank, Rural Finance Project for supporting our VISACAs.
Access to financial services by our poor farmers can be further enhanced when we strengthen the VISACAs.
Once more, we applaud those who spearheaded the amalgamation of our VISACAs into a union.