Save something for a rainy day

Thursday, January 19, 2012

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The Quang Tri's Cooperative Alliance & Small and Medium Enterprise Association (QTCA) in Vietnam renders business services to cooperatives and non-state agro-enterprises to make them stronger and more professional. These services include amongst others trainings, good quality and low priced input supply and access to markets and finance. How do these services effect the members at grass-roots level?

A group female farmers explains that a lot has changed since they have received services from QTCA. One of the most important changes was that 5 - 10 years ago they used to sell all their rice when it was still growing in the field, resulting in permanent shortages of cash. Now they learned through courses by the QTCA to get a higher yield from the land by using better seeds and fertiliser. They now only sell after harvest and drying, this way they receive a higher price for their rice. This has increased their income, so they can better provide for their families.

With the income out of the harvest they first pay QTCA for the seed and fertilisers, then they repay their other debts and buy goods for the household. If any money remains they buy gold jewellery to save something for a rainy day. Only few farmers have a bank account and they have no experience in saving money.

It seemed that farmers who run a more specialised farm, e.g. in products like blue bean (bean sprout) and rice noodles, earn more and have a higher standard of living. A farmer of a blue bean farm said she learned in trainings of the cooperative how to improve her produce and about what is essential to run a good blue bean farm.

Source: Agriterra

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