When 14 farmers from Fetomone village established their Farmer Group in March 2016, members agreed that they would cultivate corn together on a new plot of land. But because of some mistakes about the land’s arability and, especially, the lack of proper attention to the plot from group members, things did not go as planned and the harvest failed. Trying to learn from their mistakes, and with continued support from CWS staff and the local government ag extension worker, the farmers group decided to plant vegetables instead; and, fortunately, they had very good results. “The vegetables really help us a lot – when we harvest our families can eat some and the rest we can sell and share the income among our group members. This additional income means we can buy rice, cooking oil and salt. The money also helps us pay school costs for our children,” Hofmin Selan, one group member, said.
With their good results the farmers next decided to start saving as a group with each member contributing 10,000 Rupiah (75 cents) every time they sold some of their vegetables. “Now we have 220,000 Rupiah ($16.50) as our group savings,” explained Hofmin, who is also the Treasurer. “In the future, when we have enough savings, we plan to buy more seeds and more tools to expand our plot, and keep growing our savings group into a loan group, too, which would really help our members. Of course, we know we could not have done all that we have without the support of CWS,” added Hofmin, “and we are really grateful for the chance to partner with them.”