Doña Isabel checks her tomato crop. Click to read more about Doña Isabel.
Friendship Bridge currently serves over a thousand agriculture clients. Through surveys and research, we found that 25% of our clients are financially dependent on farming, they fall into the highest levels of poverty, and they are the most isolated geographically. Due to lack of market access, they sell their products through middlemen (coyotes) who take most of the profit.
To meet the unique needs of the agriculture sector, we designed a pilot program to give our clients access to new markets through specially designed credit products, technical training, risk mitigation services, business assistance, and access to value chain participants.
The long-term goals for this program are to bolster sustainable agriculture practices among small-scale farmers; include the women more strategically into the family business; raise income for rural, impoverished agrarian families; create self-reliant community agriculture groups; and drive economic development in entire communities using Friendship Bridge’s proven lending and education model.