This February, TGF facilitated the second annual General Assembly of the Pongro Kraum Agricultural Cooperative (AC), which was attended by members, prospective members, as well as village, commune and provincial officials. Two years ago, TGF was approached by farmers from the area who wanted to work together to improve access to affordable credit, for vital farming inputs like seeds and equipment. TGF provided financial support and continued technical guidance to get the AC up and running, and since then it has gone from strength to strength. In it’s second year, membership has increased by 65% (to 107 members), and more than twice as many shares have been sold (from 90 to 212). At the end of each year, interest earned from loans given by the AC is dispersed amongst it’s members. 2018 should be the AC’s busiest year yet, with plans to provide an affordable equipment hiring service to farmers in Chi Kraeng.
“The idea is that by working together with communities, and linking farmers together, we can provide an opportunity access finance easily and cheaply, but also to develop ideas for businesses. We are seeing the capability and confidence of members grow, and that is great” – TGF Country Director, Samuel Flint.