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Peru

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Alternativa (Peru)

Association Alternativa is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1979 to provide integrated and sustainable human development services and strengthen democratic institutions in the coastal province of Lima, Peru. The organization’s lending program, Alternativa Microfinance, uses a group lending methodology to reach principally female entrepreneurs living in poor, peri-urban areas.

To fulfill its mission, the organization takes advantage of regularly scheduled credit meetings to deliver education on topics such as gender, health, and the environment and focusing on issues that pertain to personal, business and organizational development.

In 2017, GP launched a case study conducted by Microfinance Opportunities that featured Alternativa and their clients. Here is the executive summary of that case study report.

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APROCASSI

APROCASSI is a fair trade coffee cooperative dedicated to improving the quality of life of small producers in northern Peru. Cajamarca, where the cooperative operates, is the second largest coffee growing region in the country, but also one of the poorest with a majority of the population living below the national poverty line. In order to further its mission, APROCASSI founded APROCREDI, a rural savings and credit cooperative that provides members with access to pre-harvest credit as well as longer term loans for plant rejuvenation and general household needs between harvests.

Understanding that tailored credit is necessary but not sufficient for small producers to lift themselves out of poverty, APROCASSI provides a suite of integrated services that help members increase and/or stabilize their household incomes. For example members receive access to discounted inputs and monthly assistance on how to increase productivity, improve quality and diversify their economic activities. APROCASSI enables members to capitalize on improved crop practices by providing them with access to specialty markets where they can obtain better prices. The cooperative does this by supporting necessary certifications, negotiating contracts, processing, marketing and exporting the coffee.

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CenfroCafe

CenfroCafe is a 100 percent fair trade and organic coffee cooperative whose mission is “to provide solutions through quality services that support the entrepreneurial capacity of members, and the commercialization of products with high-quality standards in harmony with the environment.” The Cajamarca and Amazonas departments where CenfroCafe operates are in a rural coffee growing region of Peru. They are among the poorest departments in the country, with roughly 50 percent of the population living below the poverty line*.

Through CenfroCafe, small-scale producers receive access to tailored credit, technical assistance (TA) and commercialization services. One strength of CenfroCafe is that it has a unit dedicated to research and institutional development. This unit conducts market studies and crop analysis to support the organization’s TA and commercialization services, which addresses everything from adequate fertilization and pest control to roasting and grinding processes. These activities are aimed at disseminating best practices to improve crop quality and increase yields. CenfroCafe reports that 100 percent of its members have access to the full range of services provided and have seen increased production yields as a result.

*National Institute of Statistics and Informatics

Norandino

NORANDINO is a rural savings and credit cooperative that was established in 2005 to meet the financing needs of its member producers. While the majority of NORANDINO’s portfolio is concentrated in coffee, the cooperative is also active in sugar cane, cacao, bananas and mangos.

NORANDINO furthers its mission by providing member producers with affordable short term loans that are used to purchase inputs, pay day-laborers, and cover general production needs prior to the harvest. The cooperative also provides individual producers with longer term loans for the purchase, expansion, and/or renovation of land. Understanding that capital is more productive when coupled with access to information and markets, NORANDINO also grants institutional loans to affiliated commercialization cooperatives who provide member producers with guidance in crop practices and certification standards as well as processing and commercialization services that allow them to access better prices on specialty markets. 

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Pro Mujer, Peru

Pro Mujer is a development and microfinance institution (MFI) that is dedicated to providing Latin America’s low income women with the means to build their own livelihoods through the provision of microfinance, business training, and health services. Pro Mujer has several branches throughout the region; Global Partnerships is currently partners with Pro Mujer branches in Bolivia, Mexico, Nicaragua and Peru.

Pro Mujer provides credit to its clients primarily through group-based, village bank loans, which promote solidarity, discourage delinquency and eliminate the need for borrowers to have collateral.

Pro Mujer has been a pioneer in leveraging the existing microfinance channel to deliver its nonfinancial services. For example, Pro Mujer capitalizes on cross-trained credit officers to deliver preventive health education during village bank meetings, thereby reaching more people while keeping costs low.  Pro Mujer’s health services include health education, basic screening for chronic disease and access to primary healthcare consults. Topics covered during education sessions include breast and cervical cancer, diabetes, hypertension and depression. Screening services provided cover conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

Notably, Pro Mujer in Nicaragua (PMN) is part of GP’s Health Services Fund, a technical assistance and grant-based fund that invests in the design, start-up and scale-up of market-sustained health services delivered by MFIs and cooperatives. Working together, GP and PMN have designed an integrated health services model, whose early success has influenced the strategic direction of Pro Mujer’s health services program throughout its network.

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