Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Development and Microfinance Support Services.
Development of competitive SMEs in the rural communities is vital for empowering and improving the well-being of its people.
To stimulate rural SMEs, ASRuD has put in place a comprehensive economic development portfolio which requires both financial and non-financial assistance.
Financial assistance, that enables micro entrepreneurs to increase productive investment, is being leveraged through increased lending from ASRuD’s Micro-finance outfit.
Non-financial assistance, designed to improve business level performance, mainly efficiency and productivity, focuses on:
- Capacity building of farmers and business associations in technical and organizational skills.
- Market Research and linkages.
- Promotion of entrepreneurship.
- Building competitiveness.
- Financial linkages.
- Development and strengthening of business associations and linkages.
Sustainable Agricultural Development Options
The first Millennium Development Goal is to eradicate extreme hunger and poverty, and agricultural productivity is a kingpin to its attainment. ASRuD’s key steps to achieving an enhanced agricultural productivity, which is in turn key to increasing rural income and reducing food insecurity, among others, include:
- Agricultural Extension Services delivery, with the intent to increase agricultural production and output at the farmer level (household unit level) in the selected project communities and achieve a sustained increase in production thereafter;
- Introduce and/or facilitate access to new, modern and improved farming methods and techniques within selected project target communities;
- Make appropriate agro-processing technologies (including agro-processing mills and simple machines) available and accessible to rural women for agricultural produce processing for value addition and higher incomes;
- Provide innovation/technology transfer training, entrepreneurial and enterprise development and management skills transfer as well as development information and education, through both in-house and on-field training strategies for rural communities.
- Assist in setting up viable village-based non-farm enterprises, which are engaged mainly in agro-processing and other allied activities, and which draw largely on locally available resources and raw materials;
- Make rural finance in the form of micro-credits available and easily accessible to poor rural households, within the selected project communities.
- Introduction of sustainable and environmental –friendly agricultural practices such as agro-forestry and integrated crop and pest management (ICPM),
- Strengthening the production and utilization of Moringa and soybean as nutrition and health supplement etc.