SWISSCONTACT MAVUNO GROUPS: THREE STORIES
“Mavuno has helped me save and borrow and now I can send my children to a private school”
ROSE KUNG’U: Member of Mwireri Mavuno group since June 2009 OCCUPATION: Small Scale Farmer
ROSE’S STORY: Rose Kungu’s tomato crop is a few weeks away from ripening. She will be able to harvest the fruits of her labour - literally. She is clearly proud of her greenhouse, which she has built from locally available materials. Rose is one of 20 members of a Mavuno group in the rural area of Kiambu, about 20 kilometres from Nairobi. Her group meets regularly and Rose borrows up to KShs 4000 ($50) and saves KShs 200 ($2.5) on a monthly basis. She admits that, although she has managed to make her repayments, she sometimes struggles prior to the harvesting of her produce – regular cash-flow being a factor that affects most small scale farmers. She wants to see the loan repayment period extended to allow for market fluctuations and other unforeseen factors, and project officer Helen Masinde has offered to help the group introduce varied loan terms and conditions to cater for this.
Rose has borrowed incrementally since becoming a member to support her building of the greenhouse. The money she has been loaned from the Mavuno group has enabled her to purchase manure, fertilizer, 500 tomato seedlings, timber for the structure and polythene.
In her first year of operation, she has invested approximately KShs 100,000 ($1200) in setting up her business, with half that amount being loaned from the Mavuno. This year she hopes her harvest will allow her to break even.
She supplements her income by selling milk from the one cow she owns and with some financial input from her husband.
She has 3 children in secondary school, 1 child in college, and her youngest child is in primary school. She pays a total of Kshs 130 000 (US$ 1600) in school fees per term.
Rose’s experiences and circumstances are typical of many small-holder farmers across Kenya...
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