Extending the reach of microfinance: organic rice in the Philippines

Many of Kiva’s partners continue to extend the reach of microfinance, and one such example of this is Philippines-based partner Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation (NWTF). In recent months, NWTF has embraced Kiva’s renewed focus on catalytic loan products and has introduced a program dedicated toward offering community-impact loans to clients. The program is targeted at enterprises that can add significant value to poor communities, in terms of number of people positively impacted. NWTF offers flexible, low-interest financing for these projects that caters to the needs of each enterprise. In collaboration with Kiva, NWTF has recently approved the Negros Organic Rice Industry Association (NORIA) for a one million Philippine Peso revolving line of credit.

NORIA’s business strives to help farmers capitalize on the increasing demand for organic products in the Philippines. Due to the cyclical nature of the business, farmers often fall victim to suppliers or ‘middlemen’ who at times undercut the price paid to the farmer for their own personal benefit. The line of credit will allow NORIA to ensure that local farmers are paid a fair price for their certified organic crop. NORIA will also be investing time and resources towards providing farmers with appropriate training as well as assistance with planting, maintaining, and harvesting their crop. The loan (which is currently being fundraised through Kiva, here) will be used to purchase the organic rice from the farmers to then resell it to private and commercial customers on an as needed basis. Each drawdown is collateralized by an equivalent amount (measured in worth) of rice being held in storage.

NWTF is also developing similarly structured partnerships with entrepreneurs who are growing organic vegetables and exporting pickled ginger to restaurants in Japan. We look forward to even more innovation and more impact from NWTF in the foreseeable future. Check out the full story here - happy lending!

About the author

Andy Kaestle

Andy is from Seattle, went to college in San Diego, and lives in New York City. In order to join KF21, Andy is taking a leave of absence from Ernst & Young where he works as a financial consultant leading projects focused on risk management, regulatory compliance, and transaction advisory. Andy’s role has allowed him to better understand the drivers of a sound business – from a company’s essential supporting functions up through the importance of having a strong leadership team. During college, Andy played on a nationally ranked 1-AA football team, was an editor and columnist for the school’s newspaper, gave campus tours to prospective students, and held leadership positions within four prominent on-campus organizations. Once he graduated, Andy was elected to the Board of Directors of an international non-profit which gave him the opportunity to gain first-hand experience in strategic planning, international expansion, and business development. Being a Pacific Northwest native, Andy enjoys hiking, snowboarding, and spending time with his family. He is looking forward to being part of the KF21 and to work with people who are motivated to alleviate poverty around the world.