The previous two blogs have explored how people in rural settings get hold of money, either through loans/credit or from remittances, but making use of and managing money is a challenge, especially in a high-inflation economy and one with parallel exchange rates. Here, savings arrangements are important not only for managing external sources of money, but also making sure that small sources of income from agriculture can be aggregated to assist with investment, where larger amounts are needed.
Rotational savings: opportunities for investment
Rotational savings clubs have long been a feature of the rural economy. They have been encouraged by NGOs, churches and government alike, and often linked to ‘women’s empowerment’ programmes. The highest density of such clubs is found in the communal area sites in our study areas. This is where the NGOs congregate and the state is more present. These are also areas where significant surpluses from agriculture are rare, and it is necessary to aggregate through savings for any form of investment.
This article is from Zimbabweland, a blog written by IDS Research Fellow Ian Scoones. Zimbabweland focuses on issues related to rural livelihoods and land reform in Zimbabwe.