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close this bookRecording and Using Indigenous Knowledge: A Manual (IIRR, 1996, 211 p.)
close this folderPart 4 Mini-case studies - How development can build on IK
View the documentMini-case studies
View the documentProblem identification and prioritization in Kiko Rosa, Philippines
View the documentCommunity manged health in Pinagsanjaan, Philippines
View the documentIncorporation of local free species in an agroforestry project in Layong Mabilog Philippines
View the documentLocal vegetable varieties for home gardening programs
View the documentTraditional animal dispersal schemes in Cavite, Philippines
View the documentIncreasing food Production in Negros, Philippines
View the documentOvercoming labor shortages through indigenous mutual-help groups
View the documentPromoting the use of IK in Venezuela
View the documentFarmers' experiments in teak germination in Sri Lanka
View the documentPromoting an indigenous savings scheme in Ethiopia

Promoting an indigenous savings scheme in Ethiopia


FARM Africa, a British NGO, has been implementing a dairy goat project in the highlands of Ethiopia since 1988. The project works with nearly 1,400 families in the densely populated highlands of the east and south. Working with women from the poorest families the project aims to improve their incomes and welfare by improving the milk production and growth rates of their goats.

Local goats are provided on credit together with a training package of forage development health care, and general management. Credit may be repaid in cash or in kind by returning a goat to the project for loan to another woman. Selected women are trained as paraveterinarians and earn money treating their neighbors' goats. The goat groups are managed by an elected committee of women trained in group organization and management.

During the course of the project, staff and collaborators learned of a traditional method used by women in Welayta district to save money and help one another.

Known locally as eddir small amounts of money are saved regularly by a small, informal group of women. The money is allocated to women in the group in turn, or given or lent to those in need. Members of goat groups in Areka village, Welayta, acting on their own, organized the Women's Self-Help Goat Society.

Each member contributes a small sum at their weekly meeting. Most members are mature war widows who show a very serious attitude toward development opportunities. Some groups decided to set aside a portion of their savings to purchase goats for other needy women. Project staff were 50 impressed with the efforts of these women that they were eager to suggest it to groups in other areas.

The idea was shared with other extension staff during the regular project training courses and. quickly spread to all project sites where it was enthusiastically adopted.

Compiled by Christie Peacock, FARM Africa