When a team of government surveyors arrived in Gurbuz, a district in the eastern Afghan province of Khost, it was more than a sign that a road would be built in the area. It was the first step in the process of resolving a bitter tribal dispute.
Nilab is the ADF’s Information Technology manager. She helps maintain its ‘brain’ or the credit administration system that holds centralized records of all transactions. This includes a revolutionary credit delivery scheme for farmers, which works through ‘smart’ cards that can be used at participating stores to buy farm supplies.
Demrasi’s problems were hardly unique. Like other villages in Kandahar’s Panjwai district, it was stuck in a cycle of woe that went from drought to deluge and back again. For more than a decade, Demrasi struggled to grow food. The crops withered without adequate irrigation even as years of flooding laid waste to the fields. Slowly, Demrasi’s impoverished farmers started to leave in search of work in nearby cities and towns. The 150 households in the village often went to bed hungry.
When the Afghanistan Rural Finance Company’s clients asked for Islamic loans, its president and CEO turned to USAID for help. Hashmat Amarkhail knew what his clients wanted - murabaha or financing compliant with sharia, which shares profit and loss between borrower and lender. But he didn’t know how the Company could provide it.
Last updated: January 16, 2015