Who are we ?
A non-profit organization for rural development focused on maintaining and supporting small-scale farming and family livestock
Our operating tools :
Rural community micro lending :
Micro lending: €50 to €250 loans per family over 12 to 36 months.
Rural : loans directed to rural families living on subsistence farming.
Community : low interest rates (from 0% to 12%), adapted to the return on investment from the proposed livestock activity and to the monitoring needs of our local partner.
Community micro lending principles :
To develop a custom partnership between individuals in northern countries and farmers in southern countries. Our vision of North-South relations is renewed in the form of low rates community lending. An economical partnership is initiated between a subscriber-lender in the North and a farmer-borrower in the South, the former sponsoring the latter into starting a new activity, such as by buying an animal. This system gives responsibility to both parties and commits one another.
Accompany farmers in their livestock activities :
In order to best support families’ projects and ensure sustained self-reliance, Zebunet provides technical assistance with local partners. Access to credit lines comes together with technical and veterinary support to optimize farming conditions, increase livestock productivity and ensure animal welfare.
Side/support projects :
In parallel with developing farming, Zebunet ensures that the environment is preserved and restored through agro-ecological projects that promote sustainable development. For instance, we reuse the pigs manure by installing familial bio-digesters, we provide education to farmers on agro-foresting methods to feed livestock and maintain soils and we promote the use of manure and compost for soil amendment.
Working towards development by supporting our local partners capacity :
Zebunet relies on the expertise and the practical experience of its local partners (rural development associations, women associations or credit and savings companies), which ensure a smooth loan process: collecting information, selecting beneficiaries, building individual refund plans, veterinary supervision…
We work together to build and monitor projects and we seek to evaluate our results by planning financial return, comparing life standards, etc. Ultimately, our goal is to allow them to trigger new development programs.
Education projects :
Our young audience are tomorrow’s decision-makers and we think it is essential to raise their awareness on North/South relationships and divergences, so that they can build a fair society. To this end, we build educational programs and games with help from professionals and implement it within schools, education centers or farms, etc. The material can be downloaded for free on our website here.
The origins of the project
Founding members : Hanh HA et Gérard FELDZER
Born in Saigon, Vietnam, Ngoc Hanh HA was raised in a francophile family in the rice-growing region of the Mekong delta. She came to France in 1975 and completed the highly competitive French « agrégation » rank in biochemistry-bioengineering. As she was regularly visiting her native village near My Tho, she witnessed the precarious conditions for farmers facing cash-flow problems. Hanh started to help them through individual small loans.
Gérard FELDZER is a former Air France pilot excited about the idea of custom micro lending applied to livestock farming, such as the one developed by Stéphane Geay on the Zebu Overseas Board in Madagascar.
After launching the ZOB in Madagascar in 1997, Hanh and Gérard founded the ZOB Vietnam in 2001, which later became Zebunet. Zebunet is a French non-profit working in several countries towards reducing poverty by supporting small-scale farming through rural community micro lending, so that farmers can proudly develop their activity.