If you were to visit farmers Kenia, Marta and José in their rural town, you would have to hop on a motorcycle in Ticuantepe, Nicaragua and drive down a bumpy dirt road, winding past lush rainforests full of chirping parakeets until you see wide expanses of pineapple and pitaya fields emerge from the dense greenery. In this remote area, economic opportunities are limited and income stability is rare, which is why Kenia, Marta and José became members of “La Buena Esperanza Numero Uno” (The Good Hope Number One), a solidarity group that collectively receives credit and technical farming assistance from our partner FDL.
“FDL […] helps the grower quite a lot,” says José, because FDL serves farmers with offerings that are tailored to meet their immediate and long term needs. For example, the group is part of FDL’s development portfolio, which contains a collection of innovative products designed to serve very poor borrowers. One such product is a combination of short and long-term loans; this is what Kenia, Marta and José receive. The short-term loans are used to buy fertilizer for yearly harvest cycles while the long-term loans are used for improving farming practices for the future, such as planting shade trees that can help increase pineapple yields. The loans are also timed according to the harvest cycle—so that farmers can make payments when their income flow is at its peak.
During their group meetings, Kenia, Marta and José also receive technical assistance from a FDL credit officer that travels to visit them on a routine basis. The officer works with them to identify ways of improving their farming techniques; this helps the group operate more economically and environmentally sustainable farms. Through FDL, GP supports rural farmers like Kenia, Marta and José in earning more stable incomes, producing better crop harvests, and providing improved quality of life for their families.