Oxfam's Entreprise Development Programme (EDP) supports early-stage agricultural enterprises through a social impact-only vehicle that provides loan finance, business grants (e.g. for capital equipment) and business development support.
On 6th December, during the last EDP Investment Committee meeting, the partners approved circa. GBP 180,000 investments in 2 enterprises: Chetona Fish Hatchery, in Kurigram, Bangladesh and Apicultura Lilian honey enterprise, Honduras.
Apicultura Lilian purchases honey from a network of 125 smallholder farmers across 10 departments in Honduras. It has a small processing plant, where the honey is processed and bottled. Its branded products are sold through supermarkets and other retail outlets across the country. Apis Lilian is the leading national brand of honey.
Over the next three years, with EDP’s support, the entreprise will increase the business revenue by 50%, expanding into the wider Central American market and increasing the yields of small-scale beekeepers. The owner has a commitment to making this type of livelihood more accessible for women, and to gradually increasing the percentage share of profits going back to farmers – on top of a fair pricing structure.
By year three of EDP’s support, we expect to see farmers with their annual income increased from $205 (today) to $964 by 2020, with the number of women smallholders up from 5% to 46%.
Chetona sells 12 varieties of fish spawn to fish nurseries, fish farmers and traders, and is the current market leader in the region, with a great reputation in the local community. The entreprise plans to increase the annual revenue from £44,662 to £81,289 by 2019, which requires an investment in new infrastructure. Applications for credit from formal financial institutions to finance this growth have been unsuccessful as the business falls short of the collateral requirements.
With EDP’s support, the entreprise plans to increase farmers’ and particularly women’s (about 20% of all fish farmers in Kurigram) income and resilience through “modern” fish farming. This will be achieved by providing training, supporting subsistence farmers to grow into commercial fish farmers and supporting women’s groups to establish 10 new women-led nurseries by 2019.
By increasing the average income and working with a greater number of fish farmers, we anticipate the business will create an additional £1.2m of value by 2018-19. The business aims to grow its fish farmer base from 2300 to 3800, tripling the number of commercial fish farmers (as opposed to subsistence farmers), and growing the percentage of women farmers from 20 to 40%.
By Fabian Llinares, EDP Programme Manager, Oxfam
Photo: Sitio Pepita
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