Juetuo Village Women's Rural Credit Scheme

As in Sugu Village, DORS have begun implementing a loans project for women in this village. More on the details of the scheme can be found in the Sugu Project Page.

DORS initially approached the village Party Secretary about the possibility of making loans to women in Juetuo. DORS were already familiar with the village as negotiations were underway for a DORS funded irrigation scheme. A meeting was held in the village school and the scheme was explained to the women. Initial interest was high with 40 women attending.

The women wanted to take out loans for a year and make half yearly or yearly repayments. Loans were not made available to wealthier households or men. The loans could be used for any income generating activity. It was decided that to ensure adequate repayments that they should be made at 6 monthly intervals as a maximum. This was to enable the funds to be circulated to further women in 6 months' time, and also to sustain a lower risk than the one year repayments. Previously in Sugu village DORS had only made loans with repayments due every month, so this was the first time to try the longer repayment time.

One week later DORS delivered the loans to women in hamlets 2 and 3. Women from hamlets 4 and 5 also came down and received loans. The women organised themselves into groups of five with a mutual responsibilty for the loan repayments. Each small group selected a leader. The village Women’s Cadre was selected by the women as the ‘central leader’. Each woman was asked individually how much she wanted to borrow, what she wanted to borrow the money for, and how she wanted to repay (monthly intervals, six monthly etc.). After choosing a repayment schedule she was then asked how she would make the repayments. Most women chose livestock rearing, with pigs being the most popular choice. All the women chose the six monthly interval repayment schedule, and said they would repay by selling walnuts for the first repayment and selling a fattened pig for the second repayment. A simple contract was signed by the woman, DORS and the small group leader and central leader. Loans were made to the other part of the village a week later.

Altogether loans were made to 95 women which is just under two thirds of the total number of households. Loan sizes were mostly 800 to 1000 RMB each. The management fee of 50 RMB per person is to be repaid in two parts. One month after the loans were disbursed, DORS visited Juetuo to check that the purchases had been made. Approximately one third of the households were visited and were found to have made their agreed purchases.

Repayments after the first 6 months were good, but the second repayments were not made in full by all the participants. Various reasons were given, and the repayment dates for these women were rescheduled.