A loan of $775 helped to buy tools, tree seeds, and to pay labourers.

Natalia's story

Natalia is 49 years old and shares her married life with Julio who is 55. They have been together for a considerable length of time, and their loving relationship has produced 4 children: Alfredo, Reyna, Edwin and Ruth. Their home was built using quality construction materials.

She is a tireless worker and puts a lot of effort and dedication into her work caring for and producing cacao. She has been doing this kind of work for 20 years on plots of land that she acquired in the days after their wedding. As many people know, working in the fields is both arduous and exhausting. For this reason, on more than one occasion it has been necessary to get additional support and help from local labourers. With their assistance unfinished tasks can be completed quickly. This can result in a higher quality harvest by the end of the season due to the attention given to the crop. She believes that this makes sense because when she sells her goods to the local middlemen she can make good earnings. This in turn helps stabilise her family’s economic situation.

Following the technical studies carried out by the institution expert in the field, she noticed that her plots of land did not offer the shade required in order for the cacao plants to develop strong pods. For this reason she must plant trees immediately that will give temporary shade and grow quickly, such as the banana tree. This is why she must take on extra staff, to support her and her husband with this task. She must also weed the plots, as the weeds compete with the crops for nutrients, and carry out other crop maintenance work.

In the future she plans to buy land in the city and to build a house there for her children. They are school age now and she thinks it is good to give them a quality education which would only be available in the urban part of her area. This will be her fourth loan. It can be said that she has had great peace of mind since she joined MFP as there is money available to invest in her land and that helps her work run smoothly. She hopes that her group will always be united and keep its responsible attitude.

With the 2,000 Nuevos Soles she will buy tools and tree seeds to provide temporary shade for her fields, as well as pay the labourers for their work on different weeding and pruning tasks.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Suzanne Carey

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