For many farmers, lack of access to stable markets is a major obstacle to achieving a basic income. This is particularly true of farmers that manage to produce a small excess that may be sold. The Development Fund supports the organization and establishment of cooperatives, which allow the farmers to sell their produce together. This increases their bargaining power, giving better prices and more stable market access. Through cooperatives, farmers also gain increased opportunities for participating in a larger part of the value chain, and we support measures that contribute to increased local processing of agricultural products. This also increases incomes.
Many women have few, if any, income opportunities and are completely dependent on their husbands. For many years, the Development Fund has worked with savings and loan groups, which allow women to save a small amount every month. We contribute start capital, which in time will allow the women to get a loan with which they can start their own small businesses – either alone or with others. This gives the women increased economic independence. In addition, the savings and loan groups are an important arena where women can meet and discuss the challenges they face in their daily life. Since we work in indigenous areas, women’s cooperatives producing traditional craft work are also of importance.