Review meeting on guarantee fund

Cooperatives from West and Central Gondar zones, participating in guarantee fund scheme, discussed with Abay Bank and Benefit-SBN on the experience of the last four years from 2016 to 2020 and the way forward, in the meeting held at Gondar on the 4th of  September 2020.

The main objective of the meeting was to review the performance of the past four years, identify and discuss on the challenges so that the bank and the cooperatives will maintain their relationships in the future. In attendance were thirty-eight participants drawn from ten cooperatives, Metema Union, Abay Bank branches and Zone Cooperative Promotion Agency and Benefit-SBN.

The meeting began with Dr. Geremew Terefe’s welcoming address, stressing and encouraging cooperatives and the union to improve and strengthen their relationships with the bank. This is followed by a presentation explaining the overall procedure followed in availing marketing credit through guarantee fund programme, the stakeholders involved, major results obtained, and the major challenges encountered through the implementation process and the way forward.

During the meeting, participants reflected on the overall performance of the guarantee fund scheme. Most appreciated the project, stressing that the initiative was attempting to answer the most critical problem of sesame farmers. 

The meeting was successful in bringing together the sesame farmers cooperatives/union and Abay Bank and reflecting on the challenges that they encountered during the implementation of the activity and exploring possible solutions to the challenges faced. Among other things, late disbursement on the side of the bank, insufficient amount, union’s limited turnover in purchasing sesame from cooperatives, auditing problem, timing of repayment of credit, not having Abay Bank branch in some areas. It was also successful in helping Abay Bank recognise the overall process and the support given by Benefit-SBN for the future potential technical assistant.

The biggest achievement of this activity is that, the bank and the cooperatives have maintained their relationship at present, without the guarantee fund from Benefit-SBN, two cooperatives and Metema Union are having credit by depositing 20% .

Mr. Shibabaw Muche, the then Manager of Abay Bank Gondar Branch, clarified some of the issues raised from participants. In explaining the questions, he emphasised that the bank’s late disbursement of credit has often been resulted in inadequate documents, poor audit reports, loan history of cooperatives/previous years repayment performance etc. He also indicated that the bank is opening new branches in Gelego and Gendewuha and this will allow cooperatives and the union to reduce the time they spent in the application process.

In the afternoon session, Mr. Shibabaw provide a refreshing training on loan management.