On December 15, 2022, about 375 of the 400 members of Ejo Heza met at the
cooperative's big hall in Mushubati cell, Rutsiro district of Rwanda. Here they held their general assembly, an annual meeting held by cooperative groups like theirs to review the past year, discuss the new year and take questions from members.
This is the one time during the year when all the farmers are informed about Artisan's program to pay premiums on the microlots purchased from the Ejo Heza women. In 2022 our premium amounted to 50 Rwf/kg cherry. The women decided to keep the funds from the 2022 premium (total $1,620) in their account and be added to the amount available for members to borrow. In this way, the premium will grow as interest is added.
The Ejo Heza officers also reported on the production from the women's community plots in Sure and Mushubati, and the cash amount paid for cherry was also reported as "farmer income." The work hours that the women had invested in the community plots was also reported, and the status of the women's microlending program. The lending program had earned 352,500 Rwf in interest during the year (approximately $355).