Good news since my last post! The ploughing window was slipping away, banks were being slow, and their appetite for risk was lower than what we think the farmers deserve…so the ginnery has decided to pilot going it alone, and has made 30 ox-plough loans itself!
We ordered the oxen & ploughs from Soroti, and asked the suppliers to test them on the ginnery land, to make sure they were fully trained before we delivered them to the farmers.
These oxen passed the test with flying colours…
But this black and white one on the right didn’t…. He just wanted to lie down, even though his partner was happy to plough. The suppliers pulled on his tail, gave him a smack with a stick, and stuck mud over his nostrils so he couldn’t breath - all tried & tested techniques for making the oxen move - but he still wanted to lie down.
…I saw him being led off to the market later in the day; that’ll teach him not to embarrass the suppliers.
We’ve structured loans for the farmers with similar interest rates they’d get from the bank, but much lower administration costs, and pay-back periods which fit their harvests. There’s bound to be issues to work out as we go along, but for now, at least farmers are clearing land that’s been bush for 20 years, and of course, hopefully planting more cotton.