BY JOY OFASIA
AGRICULTURE is one specific area where microfinance trainings or finance education has tailored itself to the needs of rural women farmers in the Solomon Islands.
Nowadays, it has become a catalyst to help the rural women farmers in the country; and over time it has developed rural women farmers to overcome their own financial challenges.
Not every women farmers in the country knows how to manage money well. Some focused only on making ends meet on a day-to-day basis. Others look ahead trying to prepare for unforeseen events or irregular demands such as school fees by setting some income aside as savings.
Guadalcanal Provincial Council of Women (GPCW) has recently held a day’s capacity building – financial management training workshop for women and girls in business in Visale, North West Guadalcanal.
Leedence Suia, a local farmer from Visale was among other participants which include women and girls engaged in businesses such as canteen, root crop vendors, and food selling, among others whom attended workshop.
“As a local farmer, I have been engaging in planting fruit trees as one of my main source of produce to help generate income for my family.
“The financial management training was very helpful in a way that it will broaden my knowledge in terms of how to manage my profits from my small generating income activities. It gave me ideas on how to spend wisely when managing my money,” Leedence said.
The single mother said although the profits earned from her guava (fruit) farm are small, she has managed to sustain her family this far.
“Being a single parent, I have struggled so hard to sustain my family as a local farmer out here in the rural area. Over the years, I have faced financial challenges due to the lack of knowledge on how to properly manage my profits, and also how to save and spend my money.
“The financial management training was the first training for me to attend. I am so blessed with so many new ideas on how to manage my little business; Now, I have been empowered and have gained more knowledge on how to improve myself in my marketing skills and to manage my incomes through my little income generating activities,” she added.
“I would like to acknowledge the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) who funded the project through the Guadalcanal Provincial Council of Women (GPCW) who facilitated this training which has been a blessing to many of us,” Leedence acknowledged.
Leedence said that she is now confident to move on and is ready to face new challenges as a local woman farmer in Visale.
The aim of the Entrepreneurship project is to sustainably empower women and girls on entrepreneurship skills and knowledge, best practise on life skill capacity building, improve business and marketing skills and financial literacy in order to improve financial sustainability that raise rural economic development through small income generating activities. Also with sustainable improvement on family’s livelihood that raises standard of living.
The financial training was held in collaboration with the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) – entrepreneurship project, was aimed at promoting economic empowerment for business women to help sustainably grow their businesses.