Luis Guadamuz, a farmer for over 30 years, joined Opportunity’s agriculture program to try a new variety of yucca, known as algodon. Luis received technical assistance and financing from Opportunity. Luis covered 30% of the planting costs while Opportunity supported the remaining 70% through a farm loan. Luis attends group training and meets individually with an agronomist. Luis went a step further and approached Opportunity with a design on how to modify oxen plows so that farmers can plow higher “beds” for planting. The modifications were shared with other farmers. At harvest time the first year, Luis earned $630/acre, a significant increase from his normal $170/ acre.
With the profits, Luis planted herbs and other more expensive seeds that he previously couldn’t afford. Luis paid his farm loan back on time and continues to take out new loans each planting season. He says about Opportunity, “They are like partners. They come and walk the land with each farmer– they help us, every month, and they keep coming back.” Luis is looking forward to the future when he plans to try a new crop, the hibiscus plant. He is hopeful that he can expand as a smallholder farmer.
- 100% annual growth of disbursed farm loans
- 150% annual growth of farmers receiving technical assistance
- An average increase of over 50% in crop yields due to technical assistance
- Over 75% increase in net income for farmers
- Increased diversification from 1 to 6 products in the processing plant