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Cooperative Transforms Lives of Share-members

Daulatpur village which lies in the western part of Bardiya District was previously an independent VDC. It is now a part of Rajapur Municipality. The village is surrounded by three rivers, Gola, Karnali, and Manau in the east, west, and south respectively. Around 8,000 people call this village their home. 80% of the population belongs to the indigenous Tharu tribe.

In 2010, GNI Nepal through its local implementing partners started implementation of income generation and promotion activities in the village which included the formation of income generation (IG) groups and providing with piglets, goats, vegetable seeds, and chicks to the local farmers.

To build a sustainable community, promote economic development, and rural livelihoods, the IG Groups were transformed into cooperatives with the active support from the local community. IG members, local partners, line agencies, and government agencies were strengthened through capacity development trainings.

The cooperative’s working strategy is formulated by the annual general assembly held every year. This year the AGM adopted “One Shareholder One Enterprise” strategy and planned to achieve it by the end of the year 2020. The cooperative forms sub-committee from the share-members including the cooperative management team with the support from GNI Nepal supported agricultural technical staff. The technical staff members identify potential business opportunities. After identification of the potential enterprises, beneficiaries, and targets are set.

The interested members are provided technical and vocational skills development trainings in the area of their choice. Potential entrepreneurs identified through the entrepreneur assessment survey participate in the training. They prepare a detailed business plan with the help of an agricultural technical staff and submit it to the cooperative along with an application requesting a loan. Loan sub-committee checks the viability of the business plan. Viable plans are forwarded to the management committee with a recommendation and it approves the loan.

Repayment process of the loan has also been made easier. Depending upon the nature of the enterprise, entrepreneurs can pay the loan only after generating income. However, the repayment schedule is prepared in such a way that timely collection of payment is ensured. Entrepreneurs’ progress is monitored frequently by the management committee as well as the loan sub-committee.  The agricultural technical staff counsels entrepreneurs from time-to-time to adopt new and improved technologies.

Currently, the cooperative has 198 share members (34 males and 164 females). The cooperative has generated a share capital of NRs. 304,000 and saving of NRs. 273,729 and it has received NRs. 1,409,678 as a revolving fund from GNI Nepal. Share members have been provided with business startup loans from the revolving fund. 31 entrepreneurs have so far started micro-enterprises with the soft loans they obtained. 20 individuals have received a loan from the internal fund of the cooperative which has directly helped them to start their own enterprises.

The cooperative also provides support to the community members in hard times, for emergency needs and medical treatments, and poor students. Share members are cutting unnecessary expenses and the money so collected is saved regularly. As many share members have become successful entrepreneurs, their friends and neighbors are following suit. As a result, the number of enterprises such as pig and poultry farms has increased in the communities in the village.

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