Microfinance offers inclusion and social transformation to the Colombian countryside by improving access to financial services for farmers and rural dwellers, according to the Colombian Association of Microfinance Institutions (Asomicrofinanzas).

The executive president of Asomicrofinanzas, María Clara Hoyos, told Efe that “rural microfinance is the inclusion mechanism that offers social transformation through the possibility of integrating people into the formal economy”.

He specified that they are aimed at peasants and rural people who “do not have sufficient guarantees” to enter the traditional financial system.

Microfinance in the country – explained the expert – constitutes an “offer” of financial and non-financial products and services, one of the objectives of which is to facilitate access to microcredit for the population “outside” the formal financial system .

This focus on the agricultural sector, according to Hoyos, should result in a “better quality of life” for those immersed in it.

According to the National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE), multidimensional poverty has hit the Colombian countryside three times more during the pandemic, rising from 34.5% in 2019 to a level of 37.1% in 2020.

GO WHERE NOBODY COMES

The expert said that microfinance institutions and entities associated with this guild play a “crucial role”, having among their strengths “reaching where no one else reaches”, in this case with products ” according to the needs of the farmers and peasants who live in the countryside and in the villages.

Hoyos also reported that 36.3% of microcredit operations are carried out in rural municipalities, which shows the “experience” and “tools” that this type of entity has to serve this segment in its various productive projects.

“A microcredit allows a farmer, small producers and micro or rural entrepreneurs to increase the productivity of their rural businesses”, specifies the union directive.

A BOOST FOR AGRICULTURAL ENTREPRENEURS

The credits were a “boost” for Juan Pablo Guerra, owner of the Las Juanas poultry farm, located in the municipality of San Pedro de los Milagros, which serves small producers in the department of Antioquia (northwest) with the production of laying birds. .

In the farm of La Palma, together with his father, he started a productive project with a potato crop which, after several attempts, did not prosper.

“For 12 years I tried to start this crop, but it’s very difficult,” Guerra, 32, tells Efe, who in 2019 ventured to set up a few sheds to start “from scratch” with the birds, an option he had “dipped”. ” for a long time.

He started “bringing out 2,000 pullets every four months because it requires a lot of capital”, but due to the good quality of his poultry, the clientele grew and he had to look for alternatives to meet market demand. .

“I still can’t cope, I’m running out of capital,” says the agro-entrepreneur, who has managed to boost his business with credit provided by Interactuar, a social development company that serves more than 49,000 men. businessmen and entrepreneurs in the country.

These resources, according to his account, enabled him to increase his production and expand after investing them in the purchase of poultry.

“The credits are like the last push to be able to get my animals out,” Guerra said, adding that he is on track to have “stable production” with 2,000 birds a month to respond to the market and start growing. project. as “a leader in my agribusiness, with financial freedom and a good quality of life.

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