Training on loan management
About 50 individuals drawn from 10 farmers primary cooperatives in North and Central Gondar zones receive a three-day training on loan management. Managers, credit committees, employers of 10 primary cooperatives and Metema Union and representatives of Woreda Cooperative Promotion Offices attended the training which was conducted from the 18th – 20th of June 2018 at Gondar.
The objective of the training was to build the capacity of the primary cooperatives and farmer cooperative union members so that they can properly manage the loan that they receive from Abay Bank.
This training is part of the guarantee fund activity that Agriterra and Benefit-SBN run together with Metema Union and Abay Bank.
The training topics range from basic credit loan concepts to that of the process of loan management and possible challenges and risks related to loan management. In particular, attention was given to the overall process that the primary cooperatives and unions need to follow- that is preparation to take the loan, loan application, screening, loan disbursement, follow-up and loan return; potential risks and reporting.
In the final day of the training, four cooperatives who were involved in last year’s guarantee fund activity shared their experiences with participants.
Representatives from Abaye Bank briefly presented and discussed the procedure that the bank will follow in providing the loan to Metema Union and two primary cooperatives from Selam Union.
In the plenary discussions at the end, participants expressed their concern about the timing of the loan. They said the process seems to take a long time and suggested that this needs to be improved so as to make the loan disbursement at the right time.
Before the closure, cooperative members have given time to sit together and plan the activities that they will do before and after the loan disbursement. Some cooperatives presented the plan they make in the plenary and get comments and suggestions from the fellow participants of the training.
In his closing remark Dr. Geremew Terefe, manager of Benefit-SBN, said the training is part of the capacity building activities that Benefit-SBN has been organising for SBN stakeholders. The reason why we organise this training is we believe that everything should be done in an informed way. The guarantee fund will support both the production and marketing side. It will increase the transaction of cooperatives and unions. It will also reduce the involvement of the informal money lenders and this, in turn, will increase farmers income. He then reminded trainees to translate the knowledge that they get from the training into practice.
The training was facilitated by Mr. Tekelemariam Awoke from Fair and Sustainable (F&S).
Mr. Mohamed Zaine, Metema Union bored chairperson said the loan management training is very important both for primary cooperatives and the union. The training is given in a very interesting way. This training helps the cooperatives not only in managing the loan that they get from Abay Bank with the support of Agriterra and Benefit-SBN but it also helps them to properly manage their own money in providing loans to their farmers. Mohamed suggested that it would be good if the loan should be facilitated as soon as possible.
Alemnesh Amare, manager of Mender 6, 7, 8 Multipurpose Cooperative who took the training for the second time, said she has got important lessons in these three days. She said: “We had very limited knowledge of loan management. We have learned that we need to set different criteria and follow different procedures before we disburse loans. We have learned that while providing loan we need to answer questions like for whom, when, for what purpose…We also need to consider the season- the peak time in which farmers need credit. The training also helped us identify possible risks while providing loans.” Alemnesh believes that she and other trainees will put what they have learned from the training into practice.