Help rural farmers access, use, and eventually own their own tractor & truck.
1. Lease-to own program
2. Paid off in 5 years
3. Money applied toward another tractor or truck
Malians living in rural villages are often unable to qualify for any type of loan to purchase something as life-changing as a tractor. For this reason, Empower Mali set up a perpetual tractor fund to help rural farmers access, use, and eventually own their own tractor. Each tractor costs $25,000, and unlike other projects done by Empower Mali this one is done on a lease-to own program. Over 5 years time each village with a tractor would take earnings from their increased yield, as well as money collected by renting their tractor to neighboring villages to pay $5000. After 5 years, they would own the tractor outright and the money would be used to place another tractor in another village. So far 5 tractors are in the program with villages 100% on their payments.
With 80 percent of its population engaged in agricultural activities, the sector is the cornerstone of Mali’s economy and holds great potential for driving economic growth. Small-scale traditional farming dominates the agricultural sector, with subsistence farming on about 90% of the 14,000 square kilometers under cultivation. 70-80% of all farms in Mali are subsistence farms, producing corn, millet, and sorghum for consumption. Almost without exception, farming in rural Mali, where 60% of the population lives, is done with primitive hand tools. Without the ability to borrow against future yields, most of these villages are left to produce, by hand, only what they need as a village to survive.
A farm can qualify for a tractor by 1) being willing to pay $5000 each year toward the tractor, 2) having sufficient arable land available to expand farming operations, and 3) appointing a steward over the tractor who will safeguard and maintain it. Each farm that qualifies for a tractor would lend the tractor out to neighboring farms and with the larger yields and the added income would pay the tractor off in 5 years making another tractor available to another farm. Under these arrangements, less manpower will be needed to farm larger tracts of land and give the small farmers options to experiment with crop diversification, entrepreneurial farming, coops, collective farming and more.
The tractors are Indian made (Mahindra) and already sold and serviced in Mali so that there will be no difficulty in servicing tractors that have fallen into disrepair.
Once they have paid off their tractor, a village can qualify for a truck that would then allow them to benefit from greater market access and economic diversification with their greater yield.
The durable Hyundai HD72 Truck, is standard import into Mali from Korea and would allow farmers to scale up farming efforts and transport goods to better markets for more than just subsistence farming. Each truck costs $25,000, and would be offered on the same lease-to own program. Over 5 years time each village would pay for their truck and then own it outright and the money would be used to place a new truck in another village. The HD72 Truck is well-suited for unpredictable road conditions and can be purchased and maintained within Mali.