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Microfinance Service for Women Farmers in Haiti

Caroline Cius in the shop she set up with a US$50 loan from the Smallholder Farmers Alliance.
SFA photo by Suzanne Worthington.

It has long been a dream of Caroline Cius to have a shop in the front yard of her home and be able to supplement the income from the farm that she and her husband run near the small community of Pont-Philippe, about 20 minutes northwest of the Haitian city of Gonaives. “I had a shop before, but it was destroyed by Hurricane Jeanne in 2004 and I never had the money to start it again,” she said, “But a loan from the Alliance made it possible.” 

Caroline is one of 2,000 farmer members of Alyans Ti Plantè-Gonaïves, the cooperative established three years ago in this area by the Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA). In September of last year, the cooperative began a micro-finance program for women members, and Caroline was one of the first 56 recipients of loans that averaged around US$50. It was enough for her to purchase inventory and begin selling food and supplies to her neighbors. “I am good at selling things,” she said with obvious pride when showing off her shop, “because I like to talk with people.” 

All 56 of the first loans were fully repaid, with interest, and the microfinance program is being expanded.

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Reader Comments (4)

The Smallholder Farmers' Alliance is filling the gap by offering news of real successes, instead of failures, grassroots cooperation instead of corruption, welcome trust instead of suspicion. When human beings are given the opportunity, the means and new methods, they will always succeed! Thank you for the delightful stories about what is happening on the ground!

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNancy Ackerman

Microloans are one of the most successful ways of 'helping people help themselves'. Inspiring, Hugh -- congratulations!

January 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLiz Andrews

This is beautiful!

January 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine Galasso

Amazing work -- empowerment is essential!

January 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrigitte

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