Small Farmers Agriculture Cooperatives Ltd.

Small Farmers Agriculture Cooperatives Ltd. (SFACLs) are member-managed community-based micro-finance institutions with a unique three-tiered organizational structure, which ensures the involvement of members in the decision-making process.

 

The three-tiered organizational structure is as follows:

  • Small Farmer Groups (SFG):  5 to 12 members form a group. Together, they decide on savings, loans, and community development programs in the village. 
  • Inter-Group (IG): Two or more SFGs form an IG at the ward level. The IG supervises and coordinates the activities of SFGs.
  • Board of Directors (BoDs) of regional SFACLs (main committee): The Chairs of IGs form the BoDs at the Village Development Committee level. The BoD, as a governing body of SFACLs, formulates plans, policies and appoints staff to carry out activities. The BoD is accountable to the General Assembly (GA).

Daily operations of SFACLs' are carried out by a manager, who is appointed by the BoD. The Assistant Manager and staff assist the Manager in the SFACL's daily activities.

Characteristics of SFACLs

  • Equal opportunities for participation by the poor, irrespective of caste, gender and occupation.
  • A-one door service providing savings, credits, insurance and remittances.
  • An agro-based institution with principles of a cooperative.
  • Business planning and implementation.
  • Low administrative cost.
  • Replication of new SFACLs in neighbouring villages.
  • Owned and managed by farmers through the three-tiered organizational structure.
  • Undertakes social mobilization and community development programs to raise the quality of life of the poor.

NETWORKING OF SFACLs

Small-scale farmers need both financial and non-financial services. The Small Farmers Development Bank provides financial services. The 25 SFACLs′ District Federations and the Nepal Agriculture Cooperatives Central Federation (promoted by small-scale farmers), was established to support them with non-financial services. Established federations have been continually helping SFACLs with institutional strengthening, market management, coordination and financial self sufficiency.

 

Pokhara Sarangkot SFACL staff (left to right): Dhana Kumari Nepali (assistant officer), Indra Kumari Thapa (manager), Samjhana Thapa (officer helper), Nirmala Thapa (assistant), Narayani Gautam (assistant manager). 

 

Gajuri SFACL staff (left to right): Budha Lasemi Shreshta, Indira Duwadi, Guna Raj Thapaliya, Bishnu Thapaliya, Bhakta Bahadur Shreshta and Jeevan Nepal.

Chitwan Kumroj SFACL staff

Chitwan Khatar SFACL staff