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Loan Fund for Beekeeping in Chiapas, Mexico

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In Chiapas, Mexico's poorest state, small-scale farmers produce 80% of the coffee on plots of land less than 5 hectares and belong to indigenous ethnic groups that have historically been marginalized, excluded and discriminated against-particularly women.

As climate change affects small-holder coffee farmers and the market price for coffee is seeing all-time lows, coffee farming is becoming unsustainable. By diversifying production with integrating honeybees into coffee systems there are benefits to the environment, coffee production, and community livelihoods. As we know, pollinators are essential to our ecosystems and their ability to pollinate the coffee plants helps to create strong and healthy coffee systems. When farmers can produce organic honey with beekeeping, they open a new stream of income and increase their family's income security.

To transition to climate and farmer-smart practices, farmers need financial support which is why we are raising $10,000 for a revolving loan fund for farmer-led savings and credit fund "FondoMás". The fund will initially support ten smallholder coffee producers diversify into organic honey by starting their own or growing their beekeeping business and as it is repaid, will be loaned to more and more farmers.

Producer Profiles

Name: Reider Lindoro Pérez Roblero

Age: 34 años

Community: Concepción Pinada

In addition to his activities as a  coffee producer, Reider is also dedicated to the production of honey to maximize his income in order to improve the quality of life of his family. He has faced various problems to maintain the level of production such as environmental and economic issues.  Reider will use the maintenance credit to improve the production, profitability and quality of honey, as well as improve the workers' working conditions by having access to basic tools to facilitate day-to-day activities.

Name: Cristina López Rodríguez

Age: 59 años

Community: El paraíso

Cristina has eight children so she cares for her kids, does beekeeping. She needs resources to get ahead on her farms, and for her beekeeping, there are several tools she needs to buy. One of the greatest challenges for Cristina and her husband is having great conditions so they can produce quality honey since they only have 10 boxes. 

Name: Mario Enrique Guzmán Pérez

Age: 19 años

Community: Concepción Pinada

Mario is a young coffee grower who is motivated by improving his productive activity and his economic sustainability. He has been working in management of beekeeping hives and seeked out the maintenance credit to purchase the tools and materials needed to successfully develop his honey bee hives.

Name: Victoria Alejandra Guzmán Pérez

Age: 21 años

Community: Concespción Pinada 

In addition to dedicating herself to the activities of the house, she also works in her coffee field. She's a young single woman who's in search of self-improvement. She is also a honey producer so one of the problems she faces in terms of her hives is getting financial support to buy the materials she needs to increase the number of her hives. One of her objectives is to increase production and improve the conditions of her hives to produce the best honey she can.

 

Name: Grimualdo Vásquez Roblero

Age: 54 años

Community: Nueva Reforma Las pilas.

Grimualdo is a producer with extensive experience in the subject of coffee, and with that same enthusiasm seeks to improve his beekeeping entrepreneurship. He sees beekeeping as a business opportunity that can benefit his family and children. He also knows how important bees are as pollinators and how their coffee can be benefited. For him, the issue of financing is important as it can help to achieve his goals of acquiring materials to improve their production of both coffee and honey

Name: Efraín Gálvez Velázquez

Age: 46 años

Community: El paraíso

Efraín is a coffee farmer and a beekeeper. Right now he has 50 boxes to produce honey but needs financial support to increase his production and income. With the loan he will purchase feed for the hives and basic tools like racks, boxes, and wax.

Name: Ciria Araam Gálvez Velázquez

Age: 45 años

Community: El paraíso

Ciria sells bread, tamales and tacos but also is a beekeeper. One of the problems she has seen is that there are not enough boxes as there are a lack of economic resources for good improvement. One of her greatest challenges is to increase and harvest the highest honey production.

Name: Roel Osmar Flores Ramos

Age: 36 años

Community: Àngel Albino Corzo, Chiapas. CDI. Nueva Palestina

Roel grows corn, beans, coffee, and produces honey. One of the problems he faces in the field is the lack of economic resources and the lack of tools such as wings, boxes, racks, and waxes. As well as smokers, hives or sugar. Roel is going to use the loan to continue to produce and improve the quality of honey.

Name: Diana Gabriela González Ortiz

Age: 30 años

Community: Concepción Pinada

Diana dedicated herself to the production of honey in order to improve the economic income for her family. As a producer, she has faced many problems in the field such as the scarce ability to purchase basic tools for honey production due to the lack of economic resources, so she is applying for the maintenance credit, in order to continue growing as honey producer and in her productivity, profitability and product quality.

Name: Nora Cristina Reyes Nucamendi

Age: 31 años

Community: Ángel Albino Corzo

Nora is a young professional, who works in the household, and being concerned about the family future, started working in beekeeping 5 years ago to create an additional source of income. Currently she has 45 hives and her goal is to use the loan to be able to increase production to 80 hives.

About FondoMás

FondoMás is a savings and credit cooperative that was established this year with the aim of providing access to individualized, competitive and timely loans for small-scale farmers in Chiapas, which have traditionally been dependent on illegal and unlicensed loan sharks charging inhumane interest rates. The members (small-scale farmers) not only own the “bank”, but also actively participate in its governance as well as in information and training sessions. They enjoy full right to the benefits and interests of FondoMás. FondoMás is focused on the financial inclusion of small-scale farmers through promoting the savings culture and facilitating direct access to input credits through an innovative financial product, the coffee-crop credit, designed to cover 11 months of the crop securing the needed investments for the production and the first months of the harvest, serving not only small-scale farmers but also their organizations.

FondoMás is a project of Impacto Café, a nonprofit that works with entrepreneurial social enterprises with a vision to transform their environment and improve the living conditions of their stakeholders. Impacto Café is an equivalent 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization located in the state of Chiapas, Mexico. Currently, they are working with a network of 14 organizations, representing some 3,800 coffee producers from different regions of Chiapas committed to sustainable development. Their overall aim is to improve the competitiveness of small producers’ organizations by providing them with training, knowledge and technical assistance and by facilitating access to (specialty) markets, certification, credit, and financing. Furthermore, they work with rural social enterprises with a vision to transform their environment to improve the living conditions of their families and communities.

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