Florentino, age 40, is a certified organic cacao farmer of the village of Red Bank. He manages his 3,000 mature cacao trees. Florentino, together with his wife, Eustachia, raised their seven children. Eustachia mostly spends her time doing crafting and attending to her children.
Florentino got motivated to farm cacao with the help of his Dad. He said that cacao farming has been the best because there is a stable market to sell his cacao beans with money directly received. “Maya Mountain Cacao has given me a lot of support in properly managing my cacao farm,” he stated. He also cultivates different types of cash crops such as beans, corn, etc. He also has a small business and guest house, and he takes tourists out for Scarlet Macaw watching. This work requires his time, which leaves him with less time to cultivate his cacao farm.
Florentino is requesting this loan to hire workers to continue cleaning around his trees to keep them free from pests and disease, and to aid harvesting. He said with the help of this loan he will be able to complete most of his work.
His future goal is to educate his children to get professional jobs, so one day they will be able to assist him on his farm. He will continue to expand. His plan this year coming is to plant 1,000 new grafted trees.
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.