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New WOCCU anniversary fund to aid farmers
MADISON, Wis. (2/15/11)--World Council of Credit Unions' newly established 40th Anniversary Fund will help provide financial products and agricultural training for small-scale farm families in rural Africa and Latin America.
Click to view larger image World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) is celebrating four decades of global service this year by rededicating itself to helping small-scale farm families in rural Africa and Latin America. Here, Brian Branch (left), WOCCU executive vice president and chief operating officer, joins small-scale Kenyan farmers in examining their crop. (Photo provided by World Council of Credit Unions)
Stability gained through loans from WOCCU-supported credit unions will help farmers to better grow their farming enterprises and seek out the best prices for their crops, WOCCU said. “Financial stability and food security are two key issues facing the rural poor in developing countries,” said Brian Branch, WOCCU executive vice president and chief operating officer. “Donations to the fund will enable small credit unions to assist small-scale farmers to increase their yield, plant more profitable crops and better meet the food and nutrition needs of their families and their communities.” Supported by donations from individuals and organizations, the fund is aimed at supporting farmers having two acres or less of land under cultivation in Africa and Latin America. With assistance provided by credit union development and agricultural extension staff, farmers will learn better crop production methods and receive financial support to maintain cash flow and benefit from micro-business development strategies. Farmers will realize greater profits from higher crop yields, which in turn will help increase food availability to the community. Participating credit unions will see increased membership and more lending, which will help them grow and ultimately serve more members without the need for outside financial support, according to Branch. The fund helps celebrate the 40th anniversary of WOCCU, which was incorporated on Nov. 9, 1970, and opened its doors for business on Jan. 1, 1971. WOCCU evolved with the support of the global credit union movement from Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) World Extension Department, first established based on the recommendation of U.S. credit union pioneer Roy Bergengren and approved by CUNA's board on May 15, 1954.
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