Sorriso creates innovative financial credit tool for the inclusion of family farming

Besides securing access to financing, small-scale farmers will be given training and assistance through specialized consulting. The Guarantee Fund is the result of the Cultivating Sustainable Life project, led by CAT Sorriso and supported by IDH, within the PCI strategy in MT in partnership with the Sorriso City Hall

 “We already work with great love, and now this credit will boost our motivation,” says Joveana Rosa da Silva, 48, a farmer who will benefit from the legislation, which creates the Rural Family Microcredit Programme, approved by the Sorriso (MT) City Council, on 5 April.

The programme may benefit up to 300 families exclusively engaged in family farming in Sorriso, by providing guarantees for microcredit operations with commercial banks and credit cooperatives, which may range from BRL 15,000 to BRL 30,000 per family.

In addition to guaranteeing credit operations, smallholders will have technical and managerial support, training and lower interest rates. This “Guarantee Fund”, as it is being called, is the direct result of the “Cultivating Sustainable Life” project, which is now celebrating its first year. The initiative has the financial contribution of IDH (Sustainable Trade Initiative), as well as resources from counterparts in training and private investment, led by CAT Sorriso.

“It was a big breakthrough for all the farmers in the municipality. This is hard work, with countless training workshops, management and engagement with the farmers. The implementation of the Guarantee Fund is something historic,” says Dudy Paiva, president of CAT Sorriso.

The proposal approved with the full support of the Sorriso Legislative branch provides that the Municipal Government will be the guarantor of the programme, and will allocate BRL 1 million as a guarantee for funding granted through partnerships with public financial institutions, credit societies and credit cooperatives.

The Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and Environment of Sorriso, Marcio Kuhn, explains that the Microcredit Programme brings the solution to a critical situation in the lives of family farmers, which is the difficulty to access funding, due to a number of barriers, which blocks them from making investments in their properties. “So, this partnership involving CAT, the municipal government, the City Council and financial institutions are going to be very important so that we can bring the missing financial resources to promote improvements and provide dignity to smallholders,” he stressed.

The farmers’ engagement is crucial for the success of the programme, which is why CAT has been helping family farmers for a long time, in partnership with the Municipal Agriculture Office, through the monitoring of social workers and training workshops.

“The CAT Sorriso has been accompanying family farming for seven years and the Guarantee Fund is a milestone in our work. The realisation of this fund is a reflection of a history we have had with smallholders here, in Sorriso,” adds Cristina Delicato, CAT Sorriso’s Projects and Events Coordinator.

The support provided by the Guarantee Fund to family farmers also contributes to the achievement of the Inclusion goals set out in the Sorriso Regional Compact .

“The IDH is happy to see the landscape strategy delivering concrete results that bring benefits to all, including the smallholders. We believe that the landscape approach model is important, but we know that committed local partners make the difference. In Sorriso we see this commitment coming through in the actions conducted by the PCI Sorriso Compact and the Cultivating Sustainable Life project, with the involvement of CAT and the City Hall”, says Daniela Mariuzzo, executive director of IDH in Brazil.