Saturday, September 13, 2008

Micro Loans, Huge Impact


On their face, Texas and Java would seem to have as much in common as, say, barbecued beef brisket and gado-gado. Or George W. Bush and Megawati Sukarnoputri.

Which is what makes their cooperation so intriguing. It’s called SEAFAST (the full mouthful is the Southeast Asian Food and Agriculture Technology Project), and it’s a venture linking Texas A&M University with a local agricultural institute in Bogor, Java. Think of it as a mini-Grameen Bank or Kiva, providing agricultural microloans to small Indonesian entrepreneurs (70% women).

One of the beneficiaries: Sudarti Subagiya, a Yogyakarta woman and head of the Amanah Women’s Cooperative. Thanks to a microloan from SEAFAST, she and 14 employees now have a thriving business making homemade snack foods. For more info on the homegrown microfinance project, and to witness how a little seed money can make a very big difference, visit SEAFAST’s site here.

Tomorrow: The strange story of Jakarta's megachurches


Today's Top Stories:

Presidential candidates same old recycled goofballs

Jakarta smog: Best in the world?

Indonesia bans smoking in public. Good luck

Bali bombers would like to be executed in a particular way

1 comment:

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