In this newsletter you will meet one of IFIL’s most inventive cooperatives.
  January 2024
2194 header Kamuli
The Kamuli Local Poultry Cooperative are determined to empower women and improve livelihoods. Here they are gathered together with parts of the IFIL team.
Chicks for Change: Empowering Women through Poultry
In this newsletter you will meet one of IFIL’s most inventive cooperatives. The Kamuli Local Poultry Cooperative in Uganda shows how innovation, collaboration, and strategic use of loans can uplift communities, with a particular focus on women.
The Kamuli Local Poultry Cooperative stands out with its dedicated focus on empowering women and breaking traditional gender barriers. How do they do this? Through poultry.
Mr Musenene Johnborne is their organization manager, and he emphasizes the importance of free registration and enrollment to all women engaged in agriculture, regardless of if they own land or not.

– The discrimination of women when it comes to land ownership is one of the biggest challenges in our community. That's why we have decided to do poultry farming as our core business, because a woman can raise chickens in a small place, even if they don’t own land, explains Johnborne.
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Musenene Johnborne
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"Women can raise chickens in a small space, even if they don't own land", explains Johnborne.
640x640transp Innovative Loan System
640x640transp One of the groundbreaking initiatives of the cooperative is the provision of loans in the form of chicks to its predominantly female members. This is an initiative that was born out of the capacity building trainings provided by the IFIL project.

– Each female member is now given a minimum of 300 chicks because that is a break-even point connected to loan repayment. We supply the chicks, provide feed, and offer free extension services, including vaccinations and follow-ups.

Furthermore, the cooperative also sells the birds collectively in order to reach higher volumes. This makes them more relevant and interesting to wholesalers and also ensures that members receive fair market prices.
Financial Inclusion: Transitioning to Conventional Banking

Something else that also sets the cooperative apart is the commitment to transitioning their members into the conventional banking system. The cooperative makes formal bank payments to farmers, instead of paying them cash. This also gives the members bank statements, which the commercial banks can also use to assess whether the members can qualify for other commercial loans. This also contributes to reaching the goal of making farmers more attractive to financial institutions, improving their credit rating and increasing their access to capital.

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The new water hole significantly reduces the burden on women and girls, as they don't have to walk far distances to fetch water. 
Addressing Water Scarcity and Empowering Girls

Besides funding the hatchery that produce chicks, the IFIL project's loan has also enabled the cooperative to dig a waterhole, addressing water scarcity challenges in the community. The newly established water point provides both for the cooperative's production, as well as community's drinking needs. This significantly reduces the burden on women and girls, which also helps young girls to stay in school.

Commitment to Uplift Gender Standards and Improve Livelihoods

Despite facing challenges related to mindset change, discrimination against women, and land ownership issues, the Kamuli Local Poultry Cooperative remains steadfast in its commitment to uplift gender standards in the community.

– With the support from partners like IFIL, the cooperative is undergoing transformative capacity building, impacting financial management and overall community development.

One concrete goal set by the Kamuli board is to improve the livelihoods of all 500+ members, who are primarily women.

– Our goal is to increase our members' income from a dollar a day to $15 a day. Then we will have made a substantial impact on the local community, through empowering women and contributing to financial inclusion.
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