Rising Fountains Development Programme (RFDP) strengthens 140 VSLAs in Lundazi

Rising Fountains Development Programme (RFDP) has strengthened 140 Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) in Lundazi with the support from RUFEP.

Last year in July 2019, RFDP received a grant from RUFEP under the Community Based Financial Institutions Linkages window of the Innovation and Outreach matching grant Facility.

The grant agreement provides support for RFDP to build capacity of VSLAs in Lundazi and link them to Madison Finance.

The linkage with Madison Finance is expected to digitize linked groups which will access financial services such as savings and loans through mobile phones.

Speaking when a RUFEP Team visited VSLAs supported by RFDP in Lundazi, Project Manager Maxwell Mwenda Kakwisa said the project has strengthened 140 VSLAs and trained 18 Community Based Agents (CBAs) in readiness for the linkage with Madison Finance.

Mr. Kakwisa said the Community Based Agents (CBAs) are members of the VSLAs and were trained to support their groups on the use of mobile phones for digitized groups.

“Beyond savings and sharing, we have remobilized the 140 groups with a total membership of 3,006 in readiness for the linkage with Madison Finance. The groups are very much excited and keen to linked”, Mr. Kakwisa said.

He added that to start with, 10 groups have so far been trained by CBAs in readiness for the linkage with Madison Finance.

And speaking during a meeting with VSLAs in Kakumba area, RUFEP Programme Coordinator Michael Mbulo said RUFEP aims to promote access to sustainable financial services by poor rural men, women and youth through implementing partners such as RFDP.

The RUFEP team visited VSLAs supported by RFDP in Lundazi on the 27th and 28th January 2020.

VSLAs supported by RFDP in Kakumba area, Chief Kapichila demonstrating how they conduct their business to the RUFEP team


IFAD Southern Africa Regional Hub Director Dr. Robson Mutandi and the Country Director for Zambia and Malawi Mr. Ambrosio N. Barros visited the Zambian portfolio from 20 – 21 January 2020.

The main objective of the visit was to discuss the ongoing IFAD supported programmes under the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock as well as to exchange on future and upcoming programmes under the MoA.

Following the engagements with the two line Ministries, on Tuesday 21st January, 2020 the duo accompanied by the RUFEP staff went on field visit to a RUFEP funded project by the New Apostolic Church Relief Organization (NACRO) in Chibombo District.

The Banking Smallholder Horticulture Producers of Peri-Urban Project (B-SHOPP) by NACRO aims to link 5,159 smallholder horticultural farmers in Chibombo and Chongwe to Atlas Mara as a financial service provider.

So far, the Project has reached a total of 4,749 farmers as beneficiaries by September, 2019.

Before proceeding to the Henwood Tomato Processing plant for NACRO in Chibombo district, the delegation of IFAD Regional and Country accompanied by the RUFEP and NACRO staff visited tomato farmers in Shikwesha Village in Katuba Constituency of Chibombo District.

Speaking during the field visit, NACRO Executive Director Tebuho  Yubai said the B-SHOPP Project provides a ready market for tomato farmers through its tomato processing plant in Chibombo and  has trained farmers on financial literacy.

He said farmers are paid through the bank (Atlas Mara) and have been trained to use a VISA card to withdraw their money from any commercial bank closer with Automated Teller Machines (ATM).

Speaking earlier, Mr. Golden Muloongo, an Agro Dealer and aggregator said he ensures that the challenges faced by farmers supplying tomatoes to the processing plant are resolved with NACRO.

“We have agreed to sell a crate of tomatoes to NACRO at ZMW85.50 throughout the season regardless of price fluctuations”, Mr Muloongo said.

(L-R) RUFEP Programme Coordinator Michael Mbulo, IFAD Southern Africa Regional Hub Director Dr. Robson Mutandi and Country Director for Zambia and Malawi Mr. Ambrosio N. Barros