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Small Farmholders’ Financing Scheme for Export Papaya Production in Belize Helping Small-scale Farmers to Support Themselves

Small Farmholders’ Financing Scheme for Export Papaya Production in Belize Helping Small-scale Farmers to Support Themselves

In Belize, a partner country lying along the coast of the Caribbean Sea, fruits and vegetables produced in neighboring countries can come onto the local market very easily, destabilizing the incomes of local farmers. To assist in the development of the horticultural crop and fruit tree industry, the TaiwanICDF promoted a Horticulture Project from 2010 to 2013, also initiating a complementary Small Farmholders’ Financing Scheme in 2011 to enable farmers to smoothly turn to producing papayas and packaging them for export.


Compared to other agricultural produce commonly grown in Belize (sugar cane, citrus fruits), papaya production requires continuous, long-term inputs in terms of human and material resources, and is vulnerable to climate impacts. On top of this, export-based production requires additional working capital, yet the implementation of lending projects can be difficult. Through this US$230,000 Small Farmholders’ Financing Scheme, however, farmers have been able to produce papayas and package them for export very smoothly, providing a stable source of income.

The Small Farmholders’ Financing Scheme for Export Papaya Production is being jointly implemented by the TaiwanICDF, Belize’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture (MNRA), and La Inmaculada Credit Union (LICU) in Orange Walk, an agricultural production zone in the north of the country. The TaiwanICDF has provided funding, LICU is responsible for lending services, and both the MNRA and Taiwan have allocated technicians to assist in improving cultivation techniques, and quality control and management techniques at packing facilities. To date, in accordance with lending needs for papaya production, LICU has already disbursed 75 loans to three farmers’ organizations, indirectly benefitting around 50 farmers, for an accumulated total allocation of approximately US$320,000.

In September, a TaiwanICDF supervision mission called on local farmers’ organizations, who affirmed their support for the project. With farmers having purchased machinery and increased yields after acquiring the working capital they require, and with farmers’ organizations having established their own small-scale papaya export packing facilities, profit is now being generated through export channels. Beneficiary farmers expressed sincere thanks to the TaiwanICDF for providing the small-scale loans needed for these high-risk production activities.

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  • Date:2015/9/17