Social Business Micro-credit Initiative
In order to build economic independence for people in the community of Busu village, efforts are being made to encourage social business through the provision of small micro-credit loans and business expertise. While this initiative does not address one of Suubi Medical centre’s 4 objectives, its works towards SMC’s longer term mission of creating a self-sufficient community by encouraging independent income generation through local production and employment.
Suubi Medical Centre would like to meet with local farmers to assist them in the creation of a farming co-operative. If successful, SMC would develop a grant application to build a production depot for the cooperative in order to improve market access and quality control for the farmer’s output. The objective is to enable farmers to supply foods for kids, which produces a high protein/high calorie food supplement. Currently SMC must purchase peanut supplies from other places because supply quality and quantity is not available locally. The goal of the cooperative and depot would be to assist the farmers in growing quality foods that can be sold. This would provide an immediate market for the peanuts and would consequently help to improve the livelihoods of the farmers with the added opportunity to export surplus production as a way to earn income.
We would like to start a program to help address food security through improved livestock practices with Busu and the nearby villagers. The proposed project is based on a goat-breeding concept where goats are communally raised and bred by groups of villagers. Mechanisms in place ensure villagers keep each other mutually responsible for the sustainability of the livestock and as a result, stock increases and the goats become a sustainable food source for the community.
The concept of the project is that goats will be communally raised in groups of 5 villagers (male and female) who assume mutual responsibility for collectively raising 10 goats. Suubi Medical Centre will partner with other Ugandan NGO who have an Agronomist on the ground with a lot of goat management experience. Each Goat Group will consist of one buck and 10 pregnant young does managed as one herd, by five villagers, under the supervision of the Agronomist. Each villager will sign a contract stipulating that the Goat Group must give, as a gift to the next village, 10 pregnant young goats, so it is a gift that keeps giving over time. This program will have an immediate impact on peoples diet and as stock increases, the goats become a sustainable food source as long as consumption is monitored.
A critical aspect of the project will be training, which is provided by an agronomist, to educate the Busu villagers on the importance of long-term planning for the goats.
It is important that the participants understand that the project’s success depends on the Goat Group ensuring that no one individual sells or eats the goat in times of need, a credible threat when dealing with individuals who live in highly impoverished and food insecure regions.
The project requires initial funding, but then becomes self-sufficient. The entire program costs £4500 to start, as the cost for the initial purchase of a healthy, pregnant goat is £100 and £500 for the buck. This includes the cost of training and monitoring. The great thing about this project is that while it requires initial external funding that the villagers couldn’t afford, it is a project that grows itself without the need for further funding, and eventually it improves food security and livelihoods.