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Women’s Agricultural Cooperative

Jitpurphedi Women’s Agricultural Cooperative Office Day Visit

May 13, 2018

Started in 2010 with the help of Volunteers Initiative Nepal (VIN), the Jitpurphedi Women’s Agricultural Cooperative seeks to empower women in the Jitpurphedi area by providing women a safe and reliable place to save money, gain access to loan opportunities and start small businesses. This stimulates economic growth and therefore increases their financial independence and self-esteem in the long run. As a successful group that is now officially registered with the Nepalese government, the Cooperative has been running independently with support from VIN as needed and benefited more than 800 members to date.
On May 10th, we visited the Jitpurphedi Cooperative’s office to learn how the group is managing its finances and hear opinions from both the finance officers and members. On this day, it was savings and loans collection day, where members can drop by the office anytime to deposit savings or repay loans to the 2 finance officers on duty. We witnessed several women coming by with their personal passbooks and money in hand, while the finance officers competently recorded down the transactions in the daily cash book and later in the central group records. It was an orderly process as all transactions are recorded with an invoice to both parties for accurate bookkeeping.
On average, the Cooperative receives Rs.150,0000/- savings and gives out 15 loans monthly. Every loan is carefully evaluated by the Board committee who considers the trustworthiness of the borrower, purpose of the loan and verifies that the borrower has at least 20% of the loan amount in her saving account. There are limits in place, such as a maximum of Rs.150000/- for individual loans and Rs.3500000/- for the whole Cooperative each month, to minimize credit risks.

Women’s Agricultural Cooperative
Besides savings and loans, the Cooperative also gives women the ability to participate in local community development through other income generation activities, regular trainings and workshops created by VIN volunteers. This creates a holistic environment for the women to become strong and all-rounded individuals within their own communities. Women from the Dupchashowari Cooperative, a smaller group under the Jitpurphedi umbrella, commented that “it is now easier to save and find loans for vegetable farming, regular meetings with other women helps them become more confident as well”.
Looking forward, the Jitpurphedi Cooperative is expecting the completion of a new building which will serve as the new office, training center and marketplace for the group. This is an exciting development as we look forward to the continued expansion of the women’s group.

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