By John Saukira
COMSIP Cooperative Union has launched a micro finance company, whose objective is to give its affiliates access to affordable loans for their legumes production, value chain in production businesses, nutrition, sanitation and health interventions.
COMSIP Board chairperson Givemore Chipanga said the decision to form COMSIV came about following requests from their affiliates who were finding it difficult to access loans from financial institutions as capital to start businesses.
“COMSIP’s role is to guide its affiliates on how to start and manage their various business ventures but they were not getting access to loans from financial institutions because of prohibitive and high interest rates,” he said.
“This made us form COMSIV to help our members to access affordable loans through a cooperative set up. Only those who are COMSIP affiliates are legible to apply and they must have adequate shares with the union to match the loan.”
The COMSIV activities have currently been rolled in three districts, Kasungu, Dedza and Lilongwe and that they will be spreading to other districts soon.
He said in these branches there will be officers who will be advising the members on how to access the loans and how to manage the capital they will inject into their businesses.
The board chair has warned that only those with good credit record will be allowed to access the loans and the insurance.
“We don’t want to be seen tussling with defaulters, that is why we are saying that only those with clean records will have an opportunity to access these loans,” he said.
In his speech, guest of honour Duncan Phulusa, who is executive director at Malawi Microfinance Network, advised the newly launched the company to formulate good governance policies.
Phulusa also urged the COMSIP affiliates to repay back the loans so that others can have access to.
He said COMSIV the first of its kind in Malawi because it purely targets cooperatives.
”Am pleading with the board to ensure that you always act in the best interest of the company and embrace good corporate governance systems,” he said.
Phulusa urged the board of the newly launched company to spread its tentacles to all districts.
During the launch, which was spiced by a big walk from Amina round about to the Riverside Hotel, the company handed over K800,000 to Chisaka COMSIP Cluster.