By Vanick Der Bedrossian, KF12 – Armenia
“What in the world is a diesel earth tractor doing in my MFI’s office!”, I thought to myself as I walked into Nor Horizon Credit Organization’s central office here in Yerevan, Armenia. Being a bit nervous on my first day at work, I did not ask.
My morning went along smoothly as I met Khoren, the organization’s friendly CEO, loan officers, financial analysts and so on. Soon my Kiva contact showed me to my desk so I could start working.
After a couple minutes two gentlemen came in. They spoke with a loan officer and made their way to the band-new shinny earth tractor sitting in the middle of the office, right beside my desk. I was curious to understand what was happening, so I listened in on their conversation while pretending to read an email.
Suddenly I was jolted out of my chair from the sudden roaring sound of the motor coming to life right beside me. Black fumes billowed from the exhaust, quickly clouding up the room with smog. After a couple minutes they turned the engine off and left.
I asked my neighboring loan officer to explain what just happened. He laughed and answered that many of Nor Horizon’s borrowers are farmers. The company recently began offering tractor rentals to their clients who want to more effectively work their land. In essence, a farmer who already has a loan can now also rent a tractor to make farming work a little easier. These machines mechanically till the earth, relieving farmers from having to plough their land by hand. I had witnessed a “test drive”…
Nor Horizon leases the tractors to borrowers for 1 to 3 years, charging a monthly fee. The rental comes with a full warranty and standard insurance in case of damage or theft.