Agriculture and livestock are the basis of livelihoods for thousands of families in Ecuador. Most of the producers are families dedicated to subsistence agriculture with low productivity and profitability of their crops, whose surpluses are destined for sale in the local market under disadvantageous conditions.
The area of land they cultivate is small, the educational level is low, and they do not receive any technical assistance, nor can they access credit to invest in improving crop productivity.
The only opportunity these families have to improve their living conditions is to join cooperatives. Together, they can reduce costs, store and transform production, and improve their bargaining power to obtain better prices for their crops.
Sugarcane producers in the provinces of Bolívar and Cotopaxi have joined in a cooperative called CADO created in 2003. Through CADO, farmers process sugarcane into panela and organic alcohol and sell it to the pharmaceutical industry and cosmetics.
Thanks to the support of Obra Social La Caixa, our local team in Ecuador, with extensive experience in working with cooperatives, has launched a program to strengthen CADO and the producers. We will work on 3 axes:
- We want the farmers to produce more and with better quality to generate greater surpluses and guarantee a good diet for the families. To achieve this, we will implement a technical assistance program, implement crop diversification strategies, and advise them on achieving organic certification.
- We will improve CADO’s storage, transformation, and marketing processes. We will rehabilitate the transformation plant damaged by the El Niño phenomenon, strengthen its internal government processes, and advise them on the signing of commercial agreements.
- We will promote access to adapted financial services by signing agreements with savings and credit cooperatives. The objective is to design financial products appropriate to the circumstances of the producers.
Our work guarantees a sustainable impact on the lives of these families. Training, accompaniment, and access to credit have a transformative effect that improves farmers’ capacities forever.
You can watch our video here.