Read at : Google Alert – Algeria
Algeria’s Ministry of National Solidarity plans to raise the number of microcredits granted to young Algerian entrepreneurs to more than 100,000 by the end of 2008, local press quoted minister Djamel Ould Abbes as saying on Saturday (March 15th). Speaking at a meeting aimed at evaluating the work of the National Agency for Microcredit Management (Angem), Abbes said the move was expected to ensure social stability for some 150,000 families. Ould Abbes said the agency has been instructed to quickly establish a list of eligible beneficiaries, including young graduates, widows, housewives, rural women, poor families and the families of victims of the national tragedy. Abbes also said the government has instructed banks to reduce the waiting period for a decision to no more than three months for individuals who submit an application.
MY COMMENT (Willem)
Microfinancing and microfranchising are used more and more to alleviate poverty, e.g. helping poor people to start a small business with a minimal credit and acceptable payback conditions.
When speaking about poverty of rural people, microcredits for a small business seem generally reserved for the creation of little shops.
However, my personal experience with small projects in the drylands tells me that offering a small quantity of a water stocking soil conditioner to farmers is one of the most important steps towards sustainable development. Indeed, the farmer (or his wife) is thereby enabled to treat a family garden for the production of vegetables with a minimal quantity of irrigation water. The higher yield is partly used for the family, partly taken to the market, thus enhancing annual income. A certain percentage of this supplementary income can then be used for purchasing an additional quantity of the soil conditioner, again enhancing the volume of the harvested vegetables and fruits and the ensuing annual income, etc.
Therefore, I can only recommend to foresee in any system of microfinancing a possibility to offer to rural people “microloans of a small quantity of soil conditioner“, e.g. 20 kg as a start. For every farmer family, such a microloan can be the start of a swift positive change in standards of living. It suffices to apply the water stocking soil conditioner in the family garden, e.g. 20 kg for 200 square meter to see crop production enhancing with only a minimal irrigation, and to take a part of the significantly grown quantity of vegetables and fruits to the market. More annual income offers more means to pay back the microloan. As the soil conditioner remains active in the soil for a longer period, e.g. several years, it continuously stocks rain or irrigation water, even capillar moisture in the rooting zone and it fertilizes gradually the topsoil while accelerating mineralization. Thereby, the production of crops remains significantly higher during a long period. The farmer’s family can gradually expand the kitchen garden, produce more and more crops for the market and get higher and higher income. Isn’t this sustainable development ?
Let me recommend to think seriously about applying MICROLOANS OF A SOIL CONDITIONER for alleviation of poverty in the drylands. It is a simple, practical and very efficient way to help the rural poor. I am convinced that this method can easily be applied by NGOs, playing an effective role as the intermediate link between the producer of a soil conditioner and the local farmer family. Any comments ?