Bhabishya Nirman Sana Kishan Cooperative
"The main motivation of members to work together is for the sake of collective action, not to get benefits"
Parbati Upreti - Founder and Managing Director of Bhabishya Nirman Sana Kishan
Bhabishya Nirman Sana Kishan
Location: Dakshinkali, Kathmandu Valley
Year of Foundation: 2012
Number of Members: 920
Sector: Agricultural saving and credit cooperative
Key themes: Financial inclusion, women’s and youth’s empowerment, family farming
- 5 Gender Equality
- 8 Decent work and economic growth
- 10 Reduced Inequalities
- 12 Responsible consumption and production
Dakshinkali is a municipality in the province of Kathmandu district in Nepal. Before the cooperative was set up in 2012, small scale farmers in the district faced problems as they could only get loans from landowners at a very high interest rate, requiring land as a collateral. Often, farmers lost their land because they couldn't repay the debt. Furthermore, getting the loans from the landowners meant that farmers were forced to work on their landlords’ land. In order to offer an alternative to this, a group of people, led by Mrs. Parbati Upreti, the current cooperative manager, decided to found the Bhabishya Nirman Sana Kishan cooperative following the SFACL model. Through the cooperative, whose name literally means "Future Creation", they wanted to create new opportunities for smallholder farmers and their families. Today, Bhabishya Nirman Sana Kishan is an agricultural savings and credit cooperative: members can deposit their savings and take loans without any collaterals, paying a 9% interest rate, which is the lowest in the area. The only required condition is to have a project in which to invest the borrowed money, an income generating activity. In this way people can pay back the debt as well as expand their future opportunities. Aside from loans, the cooperative offers monitoring and training services as well as it facilitates market access. The cooperative thus offers all the tools to make income generating successful and sustainable activities.
Today Bhabishya Nirman Sana Kishan counts 920 members, out of which 740 (80%) are women and 557 (61%) are young people.
Key Learning Points
- Saving and credit cooperatives, by implementing training and monitoring activities, are able to guarantee a sustainable improvement of people’s wellbeing, going beyond the provision of one-off money. Farmers involved in income generating activities have a sustainable source of income.
- Cooperatives can free people from a condition of slavery and from the domination of landowners, pulling them out debt traps.
- Cooperatives represent a sound alternative to capitalistic enterprises and unequal power relations in the market economy. This cooperative story shows that empowering people is the only way possible to ensure human and sustainable development.
- Cooperation among cooperatives is crucial to strengthen collective action. Networking and the possibility of exchanging good practices play a key-role for cooperatives’ capacity development programmes.