Micro-Loans for Beekeeping for Small-Scale Coffee Farmers in Chiapas
Jheovani Lopez Pérez
Location: Ejido de Pacayal, Amatenango La Frontera
About: Jheovani Lopez Pérez is a 21-year-old young beekeeper from la Sierra de Chiapas concerned about the high use of pesticides that cause the death of millions of bees. He has participated in several workshops on the importance of organic management in cash crops. He currently works as a technician in a network of small coffee producers that offer organic management services for production and export.
Reyder Lindoro Perez Roblero and team
Team members/Age: Reyder Lindoro Perez Roblero (34), Diana Gabriela Gonzales Ortiz (29), Sandra Perez Roblero (29), Victoria Alejandra Guzman Perez (20), Cain Perez Diaz (37)
Location: Captain Luis A. Vidal
About: Reyder has formed a farmer cooperative focused on productivity, quality and profitability of producers, especially in young producers. The purpose is for coffee producers to produce more on less land, to be self-sustaining and to accompany other productive activities such as beekeeping. The most common difficulty Reyder and his cooperative faces is access to financing, since intermediaries charge a high interest rate in the area, which does not allow the small producer to carry out diversification activities, let alone export products.
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.