Two weeks ago we closed a loan on Kiva, a website that enables individuals to contribute to loans to help communities and projects around the world.
The $8,000 loan, raised from more than 200 individual Kival lenders, will fund the cultivation of four hectares of plantains with our partner community Arimae. The community will plant the plantains between rows of cocobolo trees, which they planted as part of the UNDP-GEF Small Grants Programme project. The loan covers the costs for seed stock, fertilizer, tools, labor, maintenance, and harvesting costs for the plantain project, and Kiva lenders will be repaid from profits on the plantain sales.
This was a milestone for both Kiva and Planting Empowerment because it was the first Kiva loan ever in the country of Panama, and represents a new source of financing for agroforestry projects that strengthen food security, create employment, and generate income for rural communities.
Kiva acts as a bridge between responsible lenders and projects that need financing. Founded in 2005, Kiva has facilitated more than $400 million in loans from more than 900,000 lenders for projects in 68 countries. With the closing of our agroforestry loan, Panamá became number 69.
As sustainable agroforestry projects gain support among rural communities in Panama, we expect to continue using Kiva as a way to fund projects and help improve evironmental and social conditions. We expect to list another loan on Kiva in the coming months for $35,000 to plant tropical woods and plantains with the community.
A big thanks to everyone at Kiva who worked with us to make this happen, and we look forward to continue working together!