Small Farmers Agricultural Cooperatives Ltd. (SFACLs) are member-managed community-based institutions with a unique three-tiered organizational structure, which ensures the involvement of members in the decision-making process. Organizational Structure is depicted in figure
The three-tiered organizational structure is as follows:
Small Farmer Groups (SFG): Small Farmer members (5-12 members) form SFG at the neighbourhood level. The SFGs decide on monthly compulsory savings amount, the date for conducting the monthly meetings and collecting savings, approving credit demand of the members and community development programs in the village.
Inter-Group (IGs) : Two or more SFGs form an IG at the ward level. The IG supervises and coordinates the activities of SFGs.
SFACLs (Institutional Level): The SFACLs are governed by the Board of Directors (BoDs) elected by the members representing all the chairpersons of cluster-level inter-groups. As an SFACL governing body, the BoDs devise plans, policies and appoint staff to manage daily administrative activities. The BoDs are accountable to the General Assembly (GA) of the SFACL. SFACL's daily operation is carried out by a manager and staff appointed by the BoDs.
Characteristics of SFACLs
Equal opportunities for participation by the poor, irrespective of caste, gender and occupation.
A-one door service providing savings, credits, insurance and remittances.
An agro-based institution with principles of a cooperative.
Business planning and implementation.
Low administrative cost.
Replication of new SFACLs in neighbouring villages.
Owned and managed by farmers through the three-tiered organizational structure.
Undertakes social mobilization and community development programs to raise the quality of life of the poor.
NETWORKING OF SFACLs
Small-scale farmers need both financial and non-financial services. The Small Farmers Development Bank provides financial services. The 25 SFACLs′ District Federations and the Nepal Agriculture Cooperatives Central Federation (promoted by small-scale farmers), was established to support them with non-financial services. Established federations have been continually helping SFACLs with institutional strengthening, market management, coordination and financial self sufficiency.