Alice Y. is thirty-nine years old. She is married and has five kids who attend primary school. Alice lives with her husband and children in a community called Oda, in eastern Ghana. Many people here are engaged in farming. However, some of the women, including Alice, are involved in the production of palm oil. She has been in this business for two years. Her husband is a farmer.
She buys the palm nuts from local farmers in her community; processes it in her house to produce the oil, and sells at wholesale prices to her customers. Palm oil is a local vegetable oil produced from palm fruit that is cooked, pounded, sieved, and boiled for hours. The reddish oil is skimmed off and reboiled to expel water content. Alice would use the loan to buy the palm fruits in bulk so as to supply more customers.
She believes the loan would enable her to scale up production to serve a larger market and eventually improve her family finances. She is a member of the “Mawuli” Trust Group. Members in this group guarantee each other's loans and support each other in handling their repayment.