Archive Links

Consumer Archive
CU System Archive
Market Archive
Products Archive
Washington Archive

News Now

CU System
WOCCU Development firms see value in CU difference
BELIZE CITY, Belize (11/18/08)--When World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) Chairman Melvin Edwards talks about agricultural lending, he draws a distinct connection to the additional value credit unions bring to the process.
World Council of Credit Unions Chairman Melvin Edwards discusses agricultural lending in Belize at the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU, an agency for improving stakeholder information among rural development efforts in several countries. (Photo provided by the World Council of Credit Unions)
More people are taking notice and asking questions about the strength through sustainability that credit unions bring to any development equation, Edwards said. During a presentation earlier this month to the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU, Edwards described WOCCU's approach to value chain financing in Peru and several other countries. The Centre is a Netherlands-based agency for improving the flow of stakeholder information among rural development efforts in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. Those attending the Belize workshops learned about the sustainability credit unions offer participants--something critical to effecting long-term change, but often unavailable through other development agencies, WOCCU said. “WOCCU agricultural lending efforts have stressed value-chain financing, capacity building and improving delivery mechanisms,” said Edwards, who represents the Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions on WOCCU's board of directors. “Not all questions of success and accessibility have been answered, but WOCCU's sustainable approach helps credit unions worldwide deliver financial services to people in rural markets who need them most.” Value-chain financing provides funding for participants in the field-to-market process to streamline the process between the time a crop is planted, harvested, reaches the market and is sold to the final end-user, and earnings from the sale are returned to the producers after the credit union loans are satisfied. Introduced in credit unions by WOCCU in Peru, the process is being adapted to serve the needs of small producers in Kenya and other countries. “By becoming credit union members as part of the value-chain process, small producers solidify business relationships and gain market access, not only for the duration of the value-chain cycle, but for the foreseeable future,” Edwards told Belize participants. “WOCCU's methodology enables credit unions to identify at which point in the value chain--from production to commercialization--financing brings producers the best value and represents a good investment for the institution.” Critical components of successful value-chain financing include adapting it to the local environment and engaging the key actors at the appropriate times. For example, in both Peru and Kenya, small producers, farmers' groups and product buyers are brought together at the start, cutting out the need for middlemen and returning to producers more profits from crop sales. “No matter how formal the structure, credit union involvement in agricultural development and lending at all levels provides greater sustainability for those involved in the process,” Edwards said. “More and more small producers in developing nations worldwide are seeing greater benefits from the credit union difference.”
Other Resources

RSS print
News Now LiveWire
July 's Fed Bank's "FedFocus" has some interesting articles: incl cost/benefits of $1 currency 2 coin conversion ttp://tinyurl.com/nybmnhh
8 hours ago
Do you wish you were a News Now subscriber? Go here: http://t.co/7evfBSjeMx
8 hours ago
Financial education for student body key part of Altura #creditunion, UC-Riverside partnership #NewsNow http://t.co/Xp6OJd66o6
9 hours ago
.@VTcreditunions gains 200 new FB followers in just 2 wks to reach 1,000 http://t.co/I89xJcv4Jg
10 hours ago
.@CUNA is testifying on reg relief Tues,July 15 at 2 p.m. be4 Hs Fin Serv Subc. Here is the agenda and witness list: http://t.co/yBRhlmdqHt
12 hours ago