LATCO International: Boosting Poor Farm Communities in Bolivia
Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
Farmland is not the challenge for poor, small growers in Bolivia's Santa Cruz region. Many have access to plots of arable land. Their challenge is getting credit to buy seeds and hire labor to cultivate enough land with good yields to climb out of poverty. Bolivia's leading sesame exporter, Alimentos Naturales LATCO International S.A., has strong and rising demand for the sesame Santa Cruz's farmers grow. The company lends to small farmers to buy seeds. To produce and earn more, however, small farmers at the base of the pyramid need more money and know-how. With a $2.1 million loan from Opportunities for the Majority Initiative (OMJ) LATCO will expand, and incorporate more small farmers into its supply chain. LATCO will provide financing and technical assistance to start or expand sesame cultivation, with a view to transfer bulking and other operations to small farmers so they can take a step forward in the value chain and create a sustainable source of income.