Despite the Russian invasion of Ukraine starting on February 24, World Council of Credit Unions’ Credit for Agriculture for Producers’ (CAP) Project still managed to make strides during the second quarter of Fiscal Year 2022 (January through March), while putting some other activities on hold due to the ongoing war.
The CAP Project completed its lessons on building credit union telemarketing capacities. 36 employees from 26 credit unions in Ukraine received training on how to:
- Attract new members.
- Overcome client objections on the phone.
- Organize telemarketing sales channels
- Present product and service offerings on calls.
- Draft scripts to be used in different call scenarios.
As previously reported on the Ukrainian Crisis Response Blog, the CAP Project also succeeded in establishing safe, cloud-based data centers for Ukraine’s United Credit Unions (UCUs). With servers containing the data located outside of Ukraine, it allows credit unions in the country to access critical information, while mitigating the risk of irretrievable data loss.
Sub-group value chain
Prior to the start of the war, four pilot credit unions in different oblasts were selected to participate in a pilot program that allowed them to work with experts hired to perform a market and value chain analysis of their agricultural financing.
Due to the war, the pilot shifted its focus from technological specifics in various agricultural sectors to the analysis of the current situation caused by the war, including pricing policies related to basic goods, such as grains and seeds, dairy, fruits and vegetables.
Activities on hold due to the war
Due to the war, several efforts the CAP Project has been involved in are indefinitely on hold, including:
- Support to credit unions located in combat or Russian-occupied zones.
- Advocacy for the adoption of a new draft law on credit unions by the Ukrainian Parliament, which is still in need of revision.
- Capacity building of the two UCUs, based on assessments of both institutions.
- Building on-site cooperation between agriproducers and credit unions.
- Providing support to credit unions for land purchase financing.
Plans and future needs
With the war constraining liquidity, 14 credit unions in western Ukraine have expressed an urgent need for an additional $1.5 million to be used for agrilending. Nearly $500,000 was released to the two UCUs in April under the second tranche of the USAID/Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions’ Liquidity Fund, aimed at revitalizing agrilending. Those funds are now being distributed to credit unions.
The CAP Project is also in the process of developing two additional assistance programs with Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions that would provide further lending to more farmers and subsidize fuel costs for them as well. Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions hopes to provide more details on these programs in the coming months.