Loan Association intervention boosts food security in Upper East Region

beansThe Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) intervention introduced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), under the Ghana Environmental Management Project (GEMP) has improved food security among many households in the Upper East Region.

This was made known when Mr Asher Nkegbe, the Regional Director of the EPA, undertook a monitoring visit to some communities in the Region with some media personnel to see how the project was fairing.

Ms Janet Pwamang, the Secretary to the Nayagnia VSLA group, said through the intervention, members who were mostly women had accessed loans from the savings they made to help them improve upon their livelihoods.

She said one of the major benefits they had derived from the intervention as women groups was that women were able to secure loan facilities every farming season to procure farm inputs to undertake farming activities.

Ms Pwamang said unlike the past when majority of the women sat idle particularly during the dry season, they were now able to engage themselves in petty trading including pito brewing, animal and birds rearing, among others to support the work of their husbands.

Whilst commending the EPA , the GEMP, and the World Bank for supporting the project by forming and building the capacity of the women to  begin the VSLA, Ms Pwamang appealed  to management of the programme to replicate it in other communities.

The Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) is a group of people who save together and take small loans from those savings. VSLAs are self-managed groups that do not receive any external capital and provide people with a safe place to save their money, access small loans, and obtain emergency insurance.

The approach is characterized by a focus on savings, asset building and the provision of credit proportionate to the needs and repayment capacities of the borrowers. Groups are low-cost, simple to manage and can be seen as a first step for people to reach a more formal and wider array of financial services.

Source: GNA

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