With this award-winning program, BBVAMF’s colombian institution has already originated 2,740 loans to rural entrepreneurs
Drip irrigation, organic fertilizers, soil conditioning, rainwater reservoir, organic farming and biodigesters are just some of the examples of climate change adaptation measures which are currently operating in the fields of thousands of small farmers, thanks to Bancamía’s support through advice, financial resources and skills training to strengthen their resilience in the face of catastrophes such as drought, floodings, fires and damaged soils.
This project, implemented by BBVAMF’s institution through ‘Crediverde Adaptación’, is part of MEbA program (Microfinance for Ecosystem-based Adaptation), and which has just received the Andesco Award for Environmental Sustainability 2020. This year, in its 15th edition, the National Association of Public Service and Communications Enterprises’ award (ANDESCO, for its Spanish acronyms) emphasizes commitment to the sustainability and the balance between economic growth, social inclusion, environmental care and the rational use of natural resources.
“With this program, whose pilot was launched two years ago in Ubaté (Cundinamarca), Chaparral (Tolima), Planeta Rica (Córdoba) and Pamplona (Northern Santander), we were able to originate 2,740 productive loans worth 7.1 bn Pesos (1.8 million Euros). This year, we have extended to scores of Bancamía offices in rural areas because we want to reach more microentrepreneurs in those remote places so they could improve their productivity while caring for the environment”, shares Bancamía executive president, Miguel Ángel Charria.
To improve the impact of ‘Crediverde Adaptación’, Bancamía, in alliance with UN Environment and ICAM College (Institute of Agroindustrial Science and Environment), initiated one Demonstration Farm in Ubaté where 11 climate change adaptation measures were installed. This way, the institution provides free technical assistance to small farmers within the region, who join training sessions to learn about them, aside from receiving financial and installation support, given the wide experience of the rest of the partners.
“Andesco’s recognition of Bancamía’s initiative through MEbA, is the push needed to strengthen the program’s outreach in many Colombian regions, where more agriculture and husbandry producers need to mitigate the effects of climate change”, points Charria.
These are examples of how a similar program could change the lives of small producers like Angélica Valbuena (Ubaté), a mother and also head of the family, who has an organic vegetable farm and renders delivery service by bike within the town. Julio Cristancho, on the other hand, was a public accountant who decided to return to his rural home and built a self-sustaining farm which has turned into a Demonstration Farm with different climate cha
nge adaptation measures.