Micro credit projects operate by providing small loans with no interest or at low rates to people who have no assets and find it difficult to borrow money. The Guangxi Women’s Federation (GWF) has a long term project to introduce micro-credit for women farmers. They have found that when they provide small loans in conjunction with training, the success of the project is greatly increased.
In 2005 NZCFS supported a micro credit project in Shangling County. 1100 women received training in pig production, cultivating silkworms and planting mulberry trees, sugar-cane production, how to increase the production of aniseed, raising mushrooms and cultivating frogs. In addition training is given on women’s rights and the important role in development that women have.
These women are available in their communities to assist their neighbours and in this way approximately 8000 households were assisted. The GWF reports that the average household income increased by 1000 Yuan (approx $200) through this project. This is a significant amount for poor rural families.
Ms. ZhuoYonglan is from Mingliang town. She enlarged her frog cultivation farm from 400 square meters to 1000 square meters and now has 37 cultivation ponds. More than 50 women nearby have learnt from her and bought her frogs to start their own ponds. Each household will increase their income by 4000 yuan every year.
In the village of Maan the villagers have established a fish farming society, which buys the young fish and the feed and sells the finished product. The farmers have their own pens in the river and by working together collectively they are able to increase their returns.