Two of CONNECT’s partners have recruited new team members to support operations and financial management, taking another step towards sustainability. Hatemalo Seed Production Cooperative have appointed an Operations and Bookkeeping Officer and Belpata Dairy Cooperative an Operations and Accounts Manager. CONNECT facilitated the recruitment process, supporting partners to appoint suitable candidates that will become long term assets to the businesses.
On CONNECT's encouragement, Unilever Nepal is looking to the future and planning for the long term sustainability of their Hamri Didi network. Earlier today CONNECT facilitated a meeting between Mr Mukund Ghimire, Assistant Sales Manager, Unilever Nepal and Ms Sita Adhikari, Founder, Kalpavriksha Great Goods (KGG) (link is external) to discuss working together to expand product mix and support the Hamri Didis over the long term. KGG is a women led rural wholesale distribution network that sells solar lights and other clean technology, women's hygiene products and water filters. Unilever Nepal is committed to the HD network as a distribution channel for their products but acknowledges that the hundreds of women involved could reap greater benefits, and de-risk by trading multiple products.
The CONNECT team joined the National Academy of Science and Technology’s Future Entrepreneur Club’s meeting to introduce the idea of a club run social business that would both raise funds to deliver other club activities, give back to their community and provide an opportunity to ‘learn by doing’. During the meeting club members also came up with ideas for their annual programme of activities.
Long-term contracts between PACC and Micro Business Clusters have been amended to include a new clause for pricing based on quality and grading of fresh vegetables. PACC met with Yuva Vayus in their downstream supply chain to discuss the concept, explain the benefits and get their buy-in before amending the contracts. Grading vegetables means better prices for PACC and farmers in its supply chain.
Unilever Nepal Limited will, for the first time, offer monsoon credit of NPR 9,40,000 to 69 high performing Hamri Didis, their direct to door sales agents, operating in the Mid and Far West This credit will enable these women to stock-up and continue trading during the monsoon without being affected by access related disruptions in supply.
In partnership with Hatemalo Seed Production Cooperative, District Agriculture Development Office, Village Development Committee and local communities 5 irrigation ponds have been completed in Malika, Dailekh. A public audit was conducted following the first harvest after the ponds were constructed, confirming that the cultivation area and seed production have increased by 46% and 85% compared to the previous season.
Mr Mukunda Ghimire, Assistant Sales Manager of Unilever Nepal Limited is with the CONNECT team in Dadeldhura, Dailekh, Doti and Achham this week to meet with Hamri Didis and monitor their progress. Mr Ghimire is also meeting with distributors to orientate them on the aims and value of the Hamri Didi network.