Conclusions

The data analysis from this study supports the hypothesis that VSLA activities can positively impact household well-being and food security though through the utilization of loans and savings for activities supporting increased availability and improved access to household food items.  In addition, evidence supported that VSLA can also contribute to food security through improvements in health (utilization), and also by helping maintain food stability for home consumption during times of need. The figure below shows the linkages between the four components of food security and VSLA activities.

From CRS and Floresta’s studies in Sierra Leone and Tanzania, it is evident that smallholder farmers in rural communities often struggle to access financial services. To address this issue, organizations should consider the VSLA initiative as a vital source of credit and savings in these remote areas.

CRS and Floresta have  developed a series of recommendations for other practitioners looking to develop a VSLA program or looking to strengthen links to food security. Please read the Recommendations page for more information.

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