Promoting and Strengthening Savings and Credit Cooperatives in Bhutan

Handing ofover savings pass book
Handing over of savings pass book

July 20, Thimphu: The Hon’ble Sanam Lyonpo, Yeshey Dorji, handed over 600 copies of savings passbooks to RORUM Credit Cooperative, formed as an initiative of the Bhutan Association of Women Entrepreneurs (BAOWE) and supported by the Department of Agricultural Marketing and Cooperatives (DAMC), Ministry of Agriculture and Forests.. The passbooks were received by the CEO of BAOWE.

RORUM Credit Cooperative was registered with the DAMC in October 2013 with a vision to ensure a sustainable and viable financial cooperative responsive to the needs of its members and a mission to empower the members through provision to savings, credit services and other related services at a competitive rate which would help improve their financial and social well-being and provide financial literacy to the members. Today, the membership size has crossed 90 comprising mostly of women street vendors/single mothers.

In 2013, the DAMC had established relations with the Association of Asian Confederation of Credit Unions (ACCU) and received fund support to form and strengthen five credit cooperatives in Bhutan. The DAMC signed a MoU with ACCU in January 2015 for a two year project on credit cooperative development in Bhutan. The project aims to make available affordable credit facilities to the rural communities besides contributing to generating social capital.

Presently, the DAMC has 338 farmer groups and 47 cooperatives registered with almost all members having inculcated a saving habit. Some Farmers’ groups and cooperatives distribute their savings in the form of surplus, while others invest in  procuring vehicles or other necessary equipments.

Formally, there are only two registered savings groups: Dompala Savings Group in Punakha, registered in 2010, and RORUM Credit Cooperative.

With such collaborations between DAMC and BAOWE, it hopes to take savings and credit cooperatives to a higher level by learning from best practices, forming and strengthening more credit cooperatives, enhancing savings, ensuring easy access to affordable credit and thereby empowering people.

 

-Reported by Tashi Yangzom, ICS

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