Diego Onésimo Rodríguez, who works for Agros International and provides support with the digitalisation campaign, with Ana Susana Elizabeth Zambrano Rodriguez on her plot of land. She is a 49-year-old farmer in Chichel, a small agricultural village near San Juan Cotzal. She is mother to eight children, seven sons and a daughter. She is also the leader of her community.
She grows green beans and has chickens and other animals on her land. In the last couple of years, because of climate change and the stronger storms, she has lost her crops. Pesticides that have been used have also had less impact.
Through a campaign (agri-digitalization project supported through the RPSF) she heard about AGROS, a rural savings bank, which had lower interest rates compared to other banks. With guidance from the staff, Ana created a small group of which she is the President. The group was provided with a tablet which she manages. She says that it has phone credit so she can contact the other members of the group, reminders of payment dates and it allows her to manage better their savings and loans. Ana only speaks Ixil, so her daughter, Rosa, helps enter information in the tablet. She also uses it to watch video tutorials to help her improve on different aspects, from financial to raising her hens to improving her crop.
The RPSF is a short-term strategy that feeds into IFAD’s longer-term development objectives. It aims to improve the food security and resilience of poor rural people by supporting production, market access and employment and to accelerate their recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.
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