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Lender to women joins global policing group

Published on April 26, 2010

The short rains which stated in earnest in December and the current long rain season has been a nightmare for many dairy farmers in the country.

Click here to read the Daily Nation article

Lender to women joins global policing group
The short rains which stated in earnest in December and the current long rain season has been a nightmare for many dairy farmers in the country.Stories are being told of farmers feeding the commodity to reluctant dogs or just pouring the product down the drain.But not all farmers are going that road. Ruth Njoki Maina of Kiambu for example, with a little innovation is still able to make some money for herself and her neighbours.From her 21 dairy animals, which she acquired through a loan from Pamoja Women Development Programme (PAWDEP), Wangui, adds some little value to the milk, turning it into yorgurt whose market is still good.

A mixed farming practitioner, Njoki started off with one dairy cow with a loan from the micro financing group and has since seen her heard grow to 21 and still growing.

The eight-year-old PAWDEP provides microfinance solutions to women running small scale industry and farming in the country.

It is important to note that at family level, very few women would run away from responsibilities in time of need compared to men,” say the organisation’s chief executive officer Mr Julius Chege Muiruri.

Poor

Last year PAWDEP became the first microfinance institution in Africa to report its data to the Microfinance Transparency Pricing Initiative (MFT).

MFT is a network that allows, microfinancing organisations that mainly lend to the world’s poor to disclose how much they charge their borrowers, allowing more transparency and greater protection of the poor.

The initiative has the backing of Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, who set up Bangladesh’s Grameen Bank and is regarded as the founder of the microcredit movement.

For this, PAWDEP received a certificate during the recent global microfinance meeting in Nairobi, which Yunus attended.

“Investors, donors, policymakers, researchers and practitioners will immensely benefit from” having access to the interest rate data, Yunus was quoted as saying in a statement shortly after the policing body was established.

“In the past few years, hundreds of for-profit companies have begun financing and marketing loans to the poor in developing nations,” says the global network on their website.

It says companies have been “attracted by near-monopoly lending environments and misleading pricing systems compounded by borrowers’ frequent lack of understanding of the financial details of credit transactions.”

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