Community-based Trainors to improve agri-production and rural enterprises

 

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Saw Hein Htet Win, PP Technical Consultant on Enterprise Development facilitating during the TOT for community-based trainors

 

The technologies being employed at present are traditional, hence agricultural productivity in the rural areas are not maximized. This is one of the concerns being addressed by the Project. Aside from cooperative formation, the other half of the financial inclusion project is the enhancement of agricultural production and rural enterprises to contribute to the increase of income of people in the villages. The concept is for the cooperative to provide loans to economic activities that are profitable and can be done without subsidy from the government or development agencies.

Based on this premise, the project implemented activities to determine the enterprises that can be enhanced and financed by the cooperative. The first initiative was to do a farm systems analysis to look at current farm production activities. From the analysis, a list of agricultural commodities was made. Second, a value chain analysis was done to include current crops and livestock to determine the most profitable commodities. The third initiative was to set up demonstration farms for crops and livestock and models for non-agri enterprises.

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The savings groups in each village agreed on one commodity or enterprises that will be tested in their area. A total of 33 demonstration and modeling activities were implemented since the second half of 2015 up to the present. Demonstration farms were made for crops and livestock: mushroom, corn, beans, goat, poultry, native chicken and hogs.  Modeling of rural enterprises particularly garments retailing, concrete products, ricemill operation, rice trading, molasses trading, lumber retailing and grocery store were also done.

Despite the varied results of the modeling and demonstration farms, there are those who successfully showed how to make the commodities and the enterprises profitable.  These farmers and entrepreneurs were selected and invited to become community-based trainors. The trainors will provide training to other members of the cooperative who are interested in venturing into crops or enterprises they have demonstrated. The cooperative will require borrowers to undergo training with the community-based trainors who will be paid for the training services they provide.

The first batch of trainors completed a three-day training of trainors (TOT) conducted last October 26-28 at the Mibmyita Hotel in Hpa-an. The commodities covered included mushroom, chicken, beans, goat, hogs and corn; and an enterprise, concrete products.

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To equip the trainors and make them effective, topics discussed included concepts of adult education and use of appropriate tools and instruments in training. Participants were given time to prepare a basic training tool they presented during the last day of the training. Constructive critiquing from other participants provided guide on how to make their tool relevant and effective.

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It is envisioned that the community-based trainors will be the backbone in improving farm and rural enterprise technologies that will eventually contribute to the improved quality of products in the villages and ultimately increase income of the farmers and entrepreneurs. The training is also expected to lower the credit risk of the cooperative brought about by failure in production.

The knowledge and skills of the trainors will also be enhanced through exposures in other areas and formal training from extension schools.

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Cooperative Audit Training conducted

The officers and management staff of  Bawa Yay Thauk Myint Cooperative participated in the  Training on Cooperative Audit organized and conducted by  Positive Planet last August 24-26 at the Mibamyita Hotel in Hpa-an. The training is part of the series of Cooperative Formation Courses (CFC) designed to strengthen the operations of cooperatives.

IMG_8888 Resource Person Olive de Guzman explaining cash audit methods

The audit training was designed  to enhance the skills of the members of the Audit Committee within the Board of Directors as the financial activities of the cooperative are building up. The cooperative released the first set of loans last July and the second batch was approved by the Board and waiting for release. The cooperative is also slated to start its savings mobilization program within the month of September.

 20160825_095657Participants doing cash count exercise

The training covered topics such as basic principles of audit, internal and external audit process and the people in the cooperative responsible for audit. The theoretical discussions were completed by workshops where members of the Audit Committee practiced doing cash count, review of loan documents and role-play in doing field validation.

 IMG_8917Role playing on field validation activities

Other participants included staff of the Community Development Association (CDA) and representatives from Pwint Pwint Lin Lin Coop in the adjacent sub-township of Paing Kyone.

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TRAINING ON ADVANCED SAVINGS MOBILIZATION CONDUCTED

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The basic savings mobilization tool was used to motivate people to save and pool their savings in informal and small groups in the villages. Since the formation started in April 2015, more than a hundred savings groups were formed in the 33 villages covered by the Project, mobilizing almost $50,000 savings. Of the total savings, more than $10,000 were already transformed as share capital to the Bawa Yay Thauk Myit Cooperative (BYTM) .

With the launching of the BYTM Cooperative and its positioning as the financial intermediary in Hlaing-bwe Township, the capacity of the cooperative to be the depository of savings in the villages of the Township was enhanced. The Training on Member-Savings Operation (MSO) was conducted last May 25-27, 2016  to enable the cooperative to provide savings services where members can deposit and withdraw money during business hours.

The MSO is a system that makes the cooperative function like a bank. Members can deposit their money for safekeeping at the cooperative and withdraw whenever they need it. They  will not be bothered with their stash of cash hidden in their homes with the cooperative providing easy access to their money.

To enable the cooperative to handle the complexities of daily deposits and withdrawals, the topics covered the following: systems and procedures together with the forms to be used, the required accounting system, office lay-out and security, pricing of savings products, computing the average daily balance (ADB) which is the basis for imputing interest rate on savings, managing liquidity reserve and the funds inflow-outflow management (FIOM) to monitor the movement of cash.

 

Training on Basic Cooperative Financial Management

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Participants to the training listening to a presentation

As part of the series of Cooperative Formation Courses (CFC), the Training on Basic Cooperative Financial Management was conducted last March 30, 31 and April 1. It was attended by thirty-five participants from the officers and staff of the Bawa Yae Touk Myit Cooperative, CDA staff and officers of its civil society organizations (CSO) partners and the officers and staff of Union Cooperative Syndicates (UCS) both at the state and township level.

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Group dynamics and structured learning exercises (SLE)

The topics covered in the training included basic management, budgeting, business planning, financial recording and review of the lending process.

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Participant receiving certificate of participation

Three newly-hired staff of the cooperative participated in the training as part also of the preparation for the launching of the cooperative and the start of the lending operations. An office at the Hlaing-bwe Township was selected and is undergoing repairs and upgrading. The launching was agreed to be held on May 11.

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Enhancing Enterprise Development Skills

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Participants preparing a production process flow

The Training of Trainers on Enterprise Development aimed at providing knowledge and skills to the staff of CDA was completed last January 27-29. The training was in support to the demonstration and modelling activities of enterprises and farm activities selected by the members of the savings groups.

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Modules of the Enterprise Development Training

 

After the completion of the demonstration activities, 10 enterprises/farm activities will be selected for documentation and loan product development for the Bawa Yae Thouk Myit Cooperative. The enterprise and commodity profiles that will be developed will be the basis of the cooperative in financing enterprises and farm activities.

As of the end of January, 15 enterprises and farm activities are undergoing demonstration, participated by 174 participants with a combined amount of support at 21.5 million kyats (US$ 16,796.).

Status of Enterprise and Farm Demonstration Activities

 1.Agricultural production
Village Crops/Livestock Number of participants Amount of support Date released
Daing Pya Mushroom production

8

1,500,000.Kyats

Oct 16
Pyar Ngoke To Poultry raising

12

2,000,000.Kyats

Oct 16
Auk Yae Pu Hog raising

9

2,000,000.Kyats

Oct 16
Shan Ywar Hog raising

20

1,000,000.Kyats

Nov 20
Kwat Myat Gyi Corn production

11

1,200,000.Kyats

Nov 20
Me Thein Goat raising

7

1,000,000.Kyats

Nov 25
Tar Baung Kone Beans

6

1,400,000.Kyats

Dec 18
Kwan Be Hog raising

20

1,500,000.Kyats

Dec 18
Naung Taing Goat Raising

8

1,500,000.Kyats

Jan 15
Total  

101

13,100,000.Kyats

 
2.Enterprise upgrading  
Village Enterprise Number of participants Amount of support  
A Htet Yae Pu Buy and sell (clothing and garments)

16

1,000,000.Kyats Oct 16
Chan Tar Concrete products

9

1,000,000.Kyats Oct 23
Win Sein Ricemill operation

10

2,000,000.Kyats Nov 20
Ywar Kaing Kaung Rice trading

11

1,500,000.Kyats Nov 25
Ka Di Kan Merchandise trading

14

1,500,000.Kyats Dec 18
Htar Thein Concrete products

13

1,400,000.Kyats Jan 15
Total  

73

8,400,000.Kyats  
Grand Total  

174

21,500,000.Kyats