Since 2011, Maison Shalom began preparing a Microfinance institution in eastern Burundi to help poor but economically active households. In 2012, the ITEKA Microfinance Program was created and approved by the Bank of the BURUNDI Republic (decision N° D1/862/2012 of June 12, 2012).
The Fondation Chirac endowment given to the President of Maison Shalom was the seed money to start the ITEKA Microfinance Program.
As of December 31, 2013, ITEKA Microfinance has a client base of 6.038 households (3.939 male heads of households and 2.099 female heads) divided into 852 solidarity based groups. The amount and distribution of loans are summarized below.
To maximize the impact of the agricultural loans given to farmers, ITEKA Microfinance works together with another program implemented by Maison Shalom in July 2012, The Program of Cooperatives. Maison Shalom helps farmers organize themselves into agricultural cooperatives. This institutional support is then followed up with technical training, classes on preserving and processing harvests, and how to sell crops.
Since July 2012, 22 Cooperatives, bringing together 8.801 members (4.873 women and 3.928 men) have been created and legalized at the communal level. Thanks to the partnership of both programs – ITEKA Microfinance and the Cooperatives – over 90% of the agricultural loans have been paid back. As for the farmers, progress has been impressive (see table hereunder).
Development of crops harvested by farmers with the help of ITEKA Microfinance and the Cooperative Movement, 2013
|Crop||Harvest in tons before the 2012 intervention||Harvest in tons after the intervention|
In 2013, Maison Shalom installed a new processing plant for fortified flour. Manioc and corn meal will be fortified with several trace elements to increase their nutritional value. The processing plant will also become a market for farmers. The meal produced will be sold by the cooperatives