Felipe, age 59, is an organic cacao farmer who lives in the village of San Jose, where he manages his 3 acres of mature cacao trees. Felipe and his wife, Reymunda, raised their ten children, one of whom still lives with them. Reymunda spends most of her time doing crafts and harvesting cacao pods.
Felipe got motivated to farm cacao with his purchase of cacao seedlings from the Ministry of Agriculture. “It’s a permanent and profitable crop. Farming is good; all you need is cleaning. Farmers like to plant cacao as, when harvested, the sale price is good,” Felipe states. Felipe also cultivates different types of crops such as corn, beans, rice and a small vegetable garden to sustain his family's needs. "Farming is my life," he states. "All my income is from farming and the majority is cacao."
Felipe is requesting this loan to hire workers to assist him in cleaning his mature cacao trees and some underbrush for planting additional grafted seedlings this coming season.
Felipe's future goal is to expand with more cacao seedlings to continue receiving a high income and high production from his crops. He says that he wants his goal in farming to be achieved with the help of this loan.
About Maya Mountain Cacao
Maya Mountain Cacao (MMC) is a for-profit social enterprise that sources premium cacao beans from smallholder farmers in Belize. Founded in 2010, it generates income for marginalized farmers while promoting sustainable agricultural practices in the southern part of the country.
These cacao farmers use Kiva credit to invest in farm maintenance, improvement and expansion. For example, they might hire workers to help with the harvest or buy inputs such as better tools and seedlings.