Chief Executive Officer of Nepal Reconstruction Authority Professor Dr. Govinda Pokharel handed over a certificate to 50 members who completed the mason training in Balaju Technical Training Center.
Organized by Small Farmer Development Bank (SFDP) under Disaster Risk Reduction and Livelihood Restoration of Earthquake Affected Communities (DRRLREAC) Project, the training was provided to the members of cooperative affiliated to SFDP.
Distributing the certificate, CEO Professor Dr. Pokharel hailed the SFDP for holding training for youths at a time of scarcity of mason and other others in the reconstruction.
Addressing the program, Chief Executive Officer of SFDP Jalan Kumar Sharma said that this is a good opportunity for Bank to work with various stake holders to provide training to its members.
“The members of other least affected SFACLs spontaneously raised the funds and food grains and supported to earthquake affected families immediately. The supports were helpful to mitigate sufferings but not sufficient. To address the needs of earthquake affected small and marginalized farmers, micro entrepreneurs and poor people, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in collaboration with Government of Nepal under "Disaster Risk Reduction and Livelihoods Restoration for Earthquake Affected Communities (DRRLREAC) Project" has provided SFDB Credit line of USD 5.5 million to help revive livelihoods of 12500 most affected small farmers and USD 1.5 million grants for skills development training to construct earthquake resistance houses and technical training to strengthen operation of Cooperatives,” said CEO Sharma.
Ministry of Finance and Asian Development Bank signed a Grant Agreement in December 2015 to implement the DRRLREAC project; and Sana Kisan Bikas Bank Ltd. and Asian Development Bank (ADB) have accordingly signed the Project Agreement to provide Micro credit facilities for livelihood restoration for earthquake affected households and to provide trainings for risk resilient construction and risk management capacity building of the local communities.
The project has the target to provide credit facilities amounting NPR 750 million to approximately 12,500 earthquake affected small farmer households in Dhading, Nuwakot and Rasuwa dirstricts. So far, credit amounting NPR 640 million has already been disbursed to about 14,000 earthquake-affected members of SFACLs.
SFDB has planned to provide 50 days (300 hours) on-the-job mason trainings for risk resilient construction to 1,800 small farmer members or their family in partnership with Balaju School of Engineering and Technology (BSET). So far 40 participants have successfully completed training and 360 participants are undergoing mason training. The bank has planned more technical training in earthquake affected districts on a demand driven basis. There is further scope to expand the technical training programs in the earthquake affected districts.
“The Small Farmer Development Bank (SFDB) was established in 2001 to provide wholesale financing and technical support to Small Farmer Agricultural Cooperatives Limited (SFACLs) and similar other cooperatives to enhance access to finance in rural and remote areas in order to help alleviate poverty in the country. As of March 2017, the bank in partnership with 636 affiliated cooperatives have outstanding loan of Rs 35 billion in 650 thousand targeted people and small farmers,” said a press release issued by the Bank.
Out of total credit outstanding, Rs 13.5 billion has been provided by the bank and Rs 21.5 billion is mobilized internally as members' share and savings. Apart from wholesale credit, the bank is providing several non-financial services such as skill development trainings, agricultural value chain promotion activities, marketing, livestock insurance, and other services as per the demand of members. Replication of SFACLs in un-served and under-served areas to improve accessibility of affordable financial services is one of the innovative activities of the bank.
A 7.8 magnitude earthquake on 25th April 2015 followed by 7.3 magnitudes on 12th May 2015 hit Nepal and about 9,000 people lost their lives, about 20,000 people were severely injured and eight million people were affected by the quake. The impact of the quake was more severe to small farmers, micro entrepreneurs and poor people who are mainly the clients of SFACLs. It was estimated that about one million small farmers lost their crops, livestock and livelihoods activities. The National Planning Commission has estimated that about seven hundred thousand people's livelihoods has been severely affected and they were pushed back below the poverty line.