Written by Melie Chipula Bayani:
Beneficiaries of Community Savings Investment Promotion (COMSIP) who are participants in government social protection programs, including Social Cash Transfer and Climate Smart Enhanced Public Works, are now able to independently purchase their own bags of fertilizer through their savings and investments.
Over the weekend, COMSIP officials visited the Kasangadzi catchment area, under Traditional Authority (TA) Mwansambo in Nkhotakota district, which consists of 11 clusters, to assess the progress of groups involved in purchasing fertilizer through business activities conducted as part of the Social Support Resilient Livelihood Project (SSRLP).
Ellena Febuluwale, a beneficiary and chairperson of the Naphala club in the Msangu cluster within the Kasangadzi catchment area, expressed her gratitude for the mindset change brought about by COMSIP.
She said, “I was able to purchase two bags of fertilizer for the upcoming farming season after receiving a loan of K300, 000 kwacha from my group which I invested it in my livestock business, and I am benefiting a lot from the interests generated”.
COMSIP case worker Andsen Kapaye commended several clusters, such as Kalawa and Umodzi, which successfully purchased 62 and 26 bags of fertilizer, respectively.
“We noted that the groups were not part of the Affordable Input Program (AIP) beneficiaries, making it challenging for them to access fertilizer, so we encouraged them to set targets and strategies to source funds for purchasing fertilizer, which they accomplished” he said.
After observing the successes, COMSIP Development Communication Officer Mercy Kayuni expressed her satisfaction with the achievements of different groups, adding that the vision of helping the groups emerge from extreme poverty and improve their lives is being realized.
“We are highly impressed by the groups in Dowa and Nkhotakota; they purchased fertilizer at market prices using funds from social cash transfers and Climate Smart Enhanced Public Works, demonstrating their understanding of our teachings,” she remarked.
Kayuni encouraged more people under social protection programs to join COMSIP groups to enhance their livelihoods.
With funding from the World Bank through the National Local Governance Finance Committee (NLGFC), COMSIP is currently implementing the Social Support Resilient Livelihood Program (SSRLP) under Livelihoods Support sub- component in 28 districts in Malawi.
COMSIP’s work, among others, focuses on improving women’s and youth’s economic empowerment, enhancing financial inclusion, and increasing awareness of disaster risk management for prevention and mitigation.