June 17th, 2020: Digest in 3, 2, 1

The 3 most telling DATA POINTS:

>755 Seed Loans Distributed– over the last month, we reached over 755 rural families to distribute seed loans and prevent hunger, which impacts nearly 4,000 Ugandans. 

438 Seed Monitoring Calls – after distributing the seed loans we checked in with our farming clients to see how they were progressing with planting and the early part of the season. 

56 Group Executives Trained in Basic Seed Agronomy– training is a component of what we offer and we extended this service to the group leaders who work directly with our clients.

The 2 most important DECISIONS:

1.Work with village agents in repayment collection- We’ve always wanted to test working with village agents in our repayment process, though hadn’t gotten around to setting up a pilot yet. Through one of our new partnerships, we have been introduced to 30 community agents who we will be able to work with during the harvest season as farmers start sending in payments. 

2. Pilot cashless transactions in certain areas– 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 due to digital transactions being the safest and in some instances the only option in the pandemic.

The #1 most informative STORY:

For Owiny Amoi Anthony, our emergency seed loan has translated to food on the table for his family and has created a new opportunity to grow his maize business.

Owiny Amoi Anthony standing with Cycle Connect Loan Officer, Auma Naiwa, in his maize garden.

Owiny Amoi Anthony received a bicycle from Cycle Connect to support his maize roasting business. Anthony used his bicycle to collect maize from neighboring farmers and then transported the maize to the town center to roast and sell. COVID-19 greatly impacted Anthony’s business. The lockdown in Uganda made it harder to access maize and to find customers in town. 

When Cycle Connect Credit Officer, Auma Naiwa, contacted Anthony about our emergency seed loan he saw it as an opportunity to begin growing maize himself and to provide food for his family through the lockdown. This August Anthony will be harvesting maize from his own garden due to receiving seeds from Cycle Connect. Anthony says that his maize will allow him to double his business profits. 

Due to the prolonged effects of COVID-19, our team has decided to continue our emergency seed loan into the second planting season in Uganda beginning in July. Anthony says he plans to take part and sign up for another seed loan.

See our last dispatch here.