Friday, February 15, 2008

Making connections

by: Lazarus Nyatsanga, ASAP : Field officer for the Kufusa Mari Urban Project

Over 600 entrepreneurs in Sakubva, an urban area near ASAP’s office in Zimbabwe, are actively involved in savings clubs today, thanks to a project call “Kufusa Mari” – save for the future – ongoing since 2006. About 80 miles away, in the remote rural farming area of Tombo, over one third of the families have been involved in savings clubs since 2004.

In an effort to create market linkages, this week 12 urban Kufusa Mari savings club members traveled to Tombo area to meet their rural colleagues - where they received a warm rural welcome.

The rural farmers shared the schedule of times when they are able to offer a variety of items, such as beans, potatoes, onions, garlic, wheat, sunflower seeds, maize, chicken and rural handicrafts. The urban savings club members offered to exchange grocery items such as cooking oil, salt and sugar, as well as farming inputs (seeds and fertilizers) and cash.
Having shared notes on demand and supply modalities, both parties went away pleased with the results with a business action plan for future business in the works.

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