August 3rd, 2020: Digest in 3, 2, 1

The 3 most telling DATA POINTS:

134 group executives trained in basic seed agronomy– Training is a core component of our offering. Lockdown restrictions on the number of people who can gather in Uganda prevented our team from conducting training in our usual manner. Instead, our team turned to training the group leaders who work directly with our clients. 

391 loans disbursed in July-  Our team pressed pause on our portfolio in mid-March as we analyzed the needs of our community in light of COVID-19. From March to June, our team was solely focused on delivering our emergency seed loan. In July, we resumed our normal portfolio and successfully distributed 391 new loans to clients. 

53.8% mobile money repayments– Going cashless on all of our loan repayments is a big goal of ours. The lockdown in Uganda has accelerated this process and created a higher rate of adoption among our customers. This percent represents the number of clients in July who opted to repay via mobile money.

The 2 most important DECISIONS:

1.Work with 4,200 Farmers in FY 2021- In light of COVID-19, we have made the decision to stabilize our growth and expansion. We reevaluated our sales goals for the next twelve months and have set the goal to reach 4,200 farmers by the end of our fiscal year, June 2021. We’ll have a future piece on our blog featuring all of our fiscal year goals.

2. Pushing digital strategies- In a time when our team cannot always go the physical distance to reach our clients, we are leaning more into digital solutions. The best example of this is our push to move all new clients from cash transactions to mobile money by June 2021.

The #1 most informative STORY:

Okuny Richard is using his tools from Cycle Connect to provide for his family through the pandemic and lockdown in Uganda.

Okuny Richard stands in his garden
Okuny Richard stands in his field that he was able to plant due to the seeds and oxen and plow he received from Cycle Connect.

Okuny Richard is a longtime customer of Cycle Connect. He previously invested in a bicycle and paid it off. In March 2020 he received two oxen and a plow on loan. According to Richard, both of these products have helped him be more resilient in the face of COVID-19. His bicycle allowed him to move around when public transport was shut down and his oxen and plow have helped him open up more land to ensure he can keep his community food secure. 

Not only are the existing tools that Richard has from Cycle Connect helping him during this tough time but he was also able to sign up for our emergency seed loan. All of these products- the seeds and oxen and plow- enabled Richard to plant two extra acres this season, which will bring in over $150 in extra profits. He has been able to invest his profits to purchase 13 goats and 2 cows.

Richard lives 45 miles from Gulu town in Northern Uganda where Cycle Connect’s office is. He says he is grateful that our team travels the distance to equip him with the tools he needs to be a resilient farmer.

See our last dispatch here.