MICRO ENTERPRISE CREDIT PROGRAM
The program supports small businesses set up by the people, mostly in their homes, settlements and villages. Credit for livestock and agriculture related work in villages is also provided. The program has expanded thru 68 partner NGOs to more then 40 cities/towns and about 2,198 villages (mostly in Sindh province). 210,459 units have been supported with credit of Rs. 2.96 billion with 96% recovery rate and the ratio of operational expense to loans being 7.9%. The income expenditure ratio being 163:100.
Some latest initiatives to reach the rural poor include:
WOMEN’S LIVESTOCK COOPERATIVE FARMING
15,380 women in five districts in Sindh province have been supported with credit of total Rs. 75 million for the purchase of male goats. The rearing and sale of the goats within 3-4 months helps the women to earn an average profit of Rs. 1,000/goat. With this turnover, 3 times a year, the average annual income of the women comes to Rs. 9,750. The program is being extended thru partner organizations.
SUPPORT FOR MAT MAKING
It was observed in the villages in Khairpur Sindh that the poorest make reed mats and sell it to the middle man at only Rs.20/piece, with an average earning of Rs. 6,000/family/month (i.e cost of about 300 mats). The mats when sold in July/Aug (the peak date farming season) can fetch upto Rs. 80/mat. OPP-OCT provided small loans of Rs. 10,000/family to facilitate their holding capacity (i.e using the amount for their subsistence and selling the product at the peak season). Total 780 families were supported with Rs. 7 million credit. Due to holding the mats for 6-7 months the middle man had to increase the price to Rs. 50-80/mat. Process is in progress to expand the program.
The program has evolved partnerships for expansion and influencing policies. An example is the formation of the “Micro finance organizations network” for training and strengthening of member organizations.
Support for the flood affected families, focusing on livelihoods (livestock/agricultural input including promotion of crops like oil seeds/sunflower) is ongoing.