Financial inclusion in rural areas, or how to support agricultural producers

July 3, 2019

Extract from the 2018 Activity Report “The Year of Renewal”, Philea explains how financial inclusion, particularly in rural areas and among agricultural producers, is essential to lift people out of poverty.

COOPECAN, alpaca breeders’ cooperative – Peru

 

In 2018, Philea had a fairly sustained activity and started 4 new partnerships in Peru, Guatemala and Ecuador. Until now, Philea has worked mainly with coffee producer cooperatives. Driven by the conviction that financial inclusion in rural areas is a priority, Philea is diversifying in the choice of its members in order to provide support to agricultural producers, particularly those specialized in the production and marketing of quinoa or in the manufacture of clothing from alpaca wool.

As a result, we acquired two new partnerships in Peru. The Alpaca breeders’ cooperative – COOPECAN – is our first equipment loan to support these producers in processing and marketing wool. CABANA – Quinoa Producer Cooperative – also received a first credit to enable them to buy quinoa from their members in order to market it. With a strong social impact, this cooperative works particularly with women, to whom it supports through technical assistance. In Guatemala, we work with RENACIMIENTO, a cooperative of coffee producers affiliated with our historical partner in that country, FEDECOCAGUA (Federation of Coffee Producers’ Cooperatives of Guatemala). In Ecuador, we granted direct credit to PELILEO because of their strong social impact: they offer microfinance services to farmers and rural producers, particularly among disadvantaged indigenous populations.

While agricultural activity is currently the largest employer in many countries, workers suffer from high inequalities, leading to high poverty and economic injustice. Philea plans to contribute to reducing this situation through financial inclusion, by developing access to financial services in rural areas, and technical support, to consolidate the activity of its members.