Income Generation - Rice Banks

Rice Banks are a sustainable social enterprise that provides food security for older people and their families. Over 100 rice banks have been established by HelpAge since 2006.

To establish a rice bank HelpAge contributes four to five tonnes of rice grains and administration training. Each rice bank programme is managed and administered by local Older People’s Association members. To join a rice bank, each member contributes an average of 30kg of rice grains.

Members can borrow seeds for farming or food at a low interest rate. The interest earned from borrowed stock is used to increase rice stock levels, cover Older People’s Association administration expenses and support poor and vulnerable OPA members.

Rice bank members no longer need to borrow seeds and rice with high interest repayments from other small businesses outside of the village, all economic activity stays within the village.

When a rice bank member dies, their membership is transferred to their next of kin and the rice bank sub- committee contributes cash and 100kg of rice to their funeral ceremony.