A loan of $650 helped to buy fungicides, fertilizers and molasses, and to pay laborers.

Yonis Marel's story

Yonis Marel is 34 years old. He is a small-scale farmer of cassava and malanga (a native tuber). He is married and has three children. He lives together with his family in the community of La Concepcion, in the town of Patuca. He started out growing cassava and malanga with a little money that he earned working as a laborer. He managed to sow half a 'manzana' (one 'manzana' = 1.68 acres) of land and he obtained good results so he left his work as a laborer and started working full time on his farming. His work day starts at 6.00am and ends at midday. From time to time his children help him with some light tasks as they are still young. His wife also does this but she mainly does the household chores.

Yonis' advantage is that the crops that he grows are part of people's daily diet and so they are easy to sell. His disadvantage is that he doesn't have enough money to increase his growing area. Yonis needs this loan to buy urea, molasses and fungicides, and also to pay laborers to prepare his land for sowing. His goal is to apply technology to his farming so that he can become a big producer, provide his family with better living conditions and keep his children in school so that they can become professionals.

Yonis has been working with FAMA for three loan cycles and he has repaid his loans punctually. This has allowed him to obtain subsequent loans of increasing size.

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Linda Oxnard

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