Village Banking in a Potato Field


Pat Kelly is Senior Communications Officer at the Grameen Foundation Social Performance Management Center (SPMC) based in Washington, DC. She’s has been traveling in Peru conducting interviews with PRISMA Microfinance, an MFI implementing our Progress Out of Poverty Index™ (PPI™).

Potato Farmers in Huancayo

In mid-afternoon I visited quite a different village bank meeting—this one held outdoors in the middle of a potato field. It was potato harvest time and the dozen clients who made up the village bank chose to gather in a corner of the field with their loan officer rather than leaving the field. Some clients had been in this group for seven years. One older mother was joined in the group by a daughter and a daughter-in-law, each with one a swaddled baby.

All said they used their PRISMA loans for growing their crops, and for some animals including cows, sheep, pigs, bulls and guinea pigs. With their harvest income, they buy seeds and fertilizer for their next crop. “We always win at harvest time,” said one. The group confirmed that they had never experienced losses with their harvested crops. When the meeting ended, they all drifted back into the field to continue the harvest.

To read more about Pat’s travels through Peru, check out her posts below:

  1. Pat Meets PRISMA
  2. Pat on the Road to Pampas
  3. PRISMA Entrepreneurs in Huancayo
  4. Village Banking at Work

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