Kaing 1 Village Group.
Kaing 1 Village is located in central Myanmar’s Pakokku Township. This community currently has 35 village customers, including 5 group leaders who are helping to manage the loan program in their area. There are 217 households in this village. This village is located in Myanmar’s dry zone, where electricity and water are in short supply and transportation infrastructure is weak. Also, the weather is extremely hot during the summer season making life difficult for crops, animals and the community members with little access to fans or air conditioning There is no state-owned agricultural bank in this area, so the community has very few options to access credit.
Pictured above are 5 group leaders; Khin, Zaw, Chit, Pyine, and Mar. Khin (1st from left) is the leader of this group. He is a 53-year-old father of three children. He has a 9 acre farm. He grows various crops, such as peanuts, sesames, corn, rice paddies and so on. He also tutors children in the village. His oldest son is working in a distant town as a day laborer in a garment factory. Khin’s two little daughters are in grade 3 and grade 7. His wife sells groceries from home. He wants to use his new loan to buy fertilizers, which is important to improve soil conditions and hence boost yields. Some part of the new loan will help him to pay day laborers, who charge ~$3 per day to help harvest the crops. Additionally, the borrowers are willing to set up a shop where they can get various farming inputs such as fertilizer and seeds easily. This shop would help the villagers reduce their transportation costs, as they would no longer have to go to other towns to buy those inputs.
More information about this loan
This loan will be facilitated through Proximity Designs network of Community Based Organizations (CBOs) in order to support rural farmers in Myanmar’s Delta and Dry Zone regions. Proximity worked closely with CBOs to provide relief services after Cyclone Nargis and to support village infrastructure projects.
CBOs also play a key role in providing access to microcredit. In this model, CBO committee members support Proximity loan officers throughout the entire loan cycle. They assist in selecting village borrowers and also act as formal representatives during loan disbursement, collection of repayments and other communications. CBO committee members appear in Kiva profiles – often alongside village borrowers – as representatives of the community.
Since families rely heavily on income from farming to support their livelihoods, these loans are structured with a single bullet repayment at the end of the loan term. The timing aligns with expected harvest season when borrowers will be able to repay. All community members who receive financing through the CBO model must repay their portion of the loan before a village will be eligible to receive new funding.
About Proximity Designs:
Proximity Designs is a non-profit social enterprise that offers loan products to help small, low income farmers increase their productivity and income. There are around 12 million farmers in Myanmar who make up more than a third of the labor force. The majority of these farmers have virtually no access to formal credit institutions.
In the absence of other financing opportunities, most small farmers in Myanmar are unable to afford the equipment, material, and labor necessary to grow their crops without the help of Proximity Designs. Kiva funding will be used to help Proximity Designs expand its agricultural microfinance operation and reach more low income, rural farmers.