Today we launched our first rural community currency! The event went well to initiate and train the first 20 members and set up a local market day.
Our first cooperative maize milling factory has been set up as backing for a rural community currency which will start circulation in the following months. The factory mills local maize and issues vouchers for its flour. The vouchers are issued for environmental service work managed by Green World Campaign and as a mutual-credit to hundreds of local businesses, farmers, schools and clinics. The community has also set up their first local weekly market as a hub for trade. We're really excited about this first rural community currency!
The initial capital and effort to get the maize mill going came from our sponsors and the local community. The community currency is backed by the inventory of the maize mill as a last resort as well as the goods and services of the farmers, shops and schools in the area. We expect a community currency in rural areas like Miyani to fully circulate on a weekly basis. This is slower than in Urban areas because the circulation is focused on weekly markets and less on daily spending. We expect significant increases in local employment in the next year as well as incomes. Program management and growth in program is supported by the maize milling operation. As sales grow, there is reinvestment into the mill and the sales will grow to neighboring communities. This is a tool for the Miyani community to build is resilience over the next decade.
Environmental Service Credits: In addition to creating a credit that moves through the community, profits from cooperative businesses also support community currency as a reward for environmental services. In partnership with Green World Campaign, we reward students who plant and tend to indigenous trees and also farming groups that promote water conservation and agroforesty. This creates not only a sustainable market economy, but also importantly a green one. Environmental services by Green World Campaign include agroforestry, environmental education and water catchment. Community members taking part in those services, like tree planting, can then use the vouchers in the community and the cycle continues.
Caroline Dama training on Community Currency. Community Currency demo among women farmers, shop keepers and crafts people.