Notes to broadcasters
Land, livestock, roads and services are often destroyed during armed conflict or natural disasters. Farmers need to know what kind of action they can take to rebuild their farms and businesses. This program is about a community of farmers who started a revolving loan fund in order to rebuild their lives. It is based on real experiences of refugees. The information also applies to other emergency situations that do not involve refugees. Adapt the script to suit your local situation.
You may also wish to add to this program by re-using Farm Radio Network scripts 49-2, 57-3 and 57-4 about revolving loan funds and micro-credit schemes. In addition, share stories and conduct interviews about how local rural people collaborate in times of crisis.
You may want to produce another program that follows the progress of the villagers in this script. For example, you could develop and produce a radio drama in which the villagers form a farmers’ association to pool their money to open a supply store. This way, they can buy supplies in large quantities, and at low prices, and the store provides villagers with a convenient source of farm inputs. After a few more discussions, the villagers might decide to open up the store and share the profits.
The villagers needed to start again. They needed livestock, tools, seeds and fertilizer before they could farm again. But poor transportation and lack of local services hurt their efforts.
Amina was now a widow with three children to feed. She needed tools and seeds so she could start planting again. But tools and seeds were expensive and she didn’t have much money. If she could just get the money to buy these things, she could begin to farm again.
Amina applied for a bank loan, but the bank refused because she did not own a house or any land. Amina went home and cried. But the next day, when the sun was rising, she knew she could not bear to see her children suffer another day. She had an idea.
Amina invited a group of villagers to her home. They all shared their dismay about their homes and land. A few others had also tried to get a loan and were refused. This is what Amina told them:
- Start with a meeting to discuss the idea. Make sure that everyone can commit to making the monthly payments.
- Choose a leader to coordinate the project. A leader should be someone who is trustworthy, motivates the other members, and acts responsibly.
- You will need a written agreement with terms everyone agrees to. Each person should sign the agreement and get a copy of it.
- One person will have to collect the money every month and distribute it to the person who is receiving the loan for that month.
- Keep in mind that some members will have a need for the money at certain times of the year. For example, someone who wants to grow a new crop will need the money for seeds during the planting season.
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- Contributed by Belinda Bruce, Vancouver, Canada.
- Reviewed by Paul Ryder, Research Information Officer, and Dr. Dawn Chatty, University Lecturer in Forced Migration, Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford, United Kingdom.
- “It’s time to celebrate the spirit of the African farmer!” by Nigel Marsh, LEISA Magazine, April 2001. ILEIA, PO Box 64, 3830 AB Leusden, The Netherlands. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- “The ring of security,” by Reem Haddad, New Internationalist #345, May 2002.
- “Farmers responses to reduce the risk of drought,” by Owen Shumab, LEISA Magazine, April 2001. ILEIA, PO Box 64, 3830 AB Leusden, The Netherlands. Email: email@example.com.