Nanay Flora is one of our partner farmers, a mother of three and she is farming for almost 20 years.
Each start of farming season, she'll borrow 30,000 to buy her farming needs. And along her journey, since she is not yet harvesting, she'll borrow again to support her family's needs. The borrowed money entails huge interest.
Loan after loan, interest piles up. From a 60,000 sales from harvest, she'll just take home 2,000 pesos at the end of each farming season. This will be her budget until the next harvest. This is not just Nanay Flora's journey, 3.7 million more are stuck in this cycle.
Farm Box started when one of community farmers in Calaca knocked on Lester's door, asking if she can borrow money. Since farming season was about to start, she needed a capital to participate on the upcoming season. Failed to secured the needed loan, she went to the barangay's loan shark and settled with a 25% interest rate monthly.
It just started with friends and officemates whom Lester contacted if they are willing to help a farmer. From two farmers and a contribution of 60,000 pesos, it grew to more than 50 farmers in just six months. Now, Farm Box have expanded to poultry, hogs and hydroponic farming. From four friends, Farm Box has now more than 500 registered users.
Our mission at Farm Box is to uplift the lives of our local farmers. We want to wake up one day that we can change the stories of our farmers. Our local farmers can stand on their own, no more loan sharks or middlemen taking advantage of our local farmers. Their perspective of the next farming season is a new day of hope and success.