Farmer in his fieldLocal climate permits 2 harvests each year of crops such as maize, chillies, rice and peanuts. Within Burlavaripalem there are about 20 farmers who each own or rent ½ to 2 acres of land. Farmers have become very dependent upon local money lenders for a loan to support the six monthly purchase of seed and fertilisers; the loan is paid back at harvest time BUT meanwhile they have had to pay a monthly interest rate of 3% for the loan.
A few years ago there was major flooding that destroyed their crops just before harvest so the farmers suddenly became liable for their loan repayments with no cash. We sent out £20 for each of 10 farmers – this gift was very welcomed!
So in 2010 we set up a loan scheme for 10 farmers (including 2 ladies) who were each loaned £70 that they are required to repay gradually over 2 ½ years with the hope that during this period they would set up a local savings account to enable them to self-fund future seed and fertiliser costs. As each farmer makes his repayments further farmers are added to the scheme.