Smallholder coffee farmers in the forest in Peru

Latin America in 2020: Stronger, more sustainable farmers

Drought, heavy rainfall, disappointing harvests, and of course the coronavirus pandemic: smallholder farmers in Latin America faced more than their share of challenges in 2020. Rabo Foundation gave them a hand to help them get through it. The result? Almost all of our partner cooperatives ended the year in the black!

How we work in Latin America

We use a variety of methods to help farmers’ cooperatives in Latin America grow sustainably. Our mission is to help our partner organizations to become self-sufficient and to improve the lives of our partner smallholder farmers economically, socially and ecologically. We achieve the latter by helping them to become more resilient to climate change.


Farmers’ cooperatives borrow money from us on favorable terms. If our partners do well, helped by their existing repayment track record built up with Rabo Foundation, the organizations become eligible for local bank funding. In 2020, in Latin America, we provided a total of € 12.1 million in loans, technical assistance, trade finance and grants.

With our short-term loans, producer organizations could buy products from farmers, pay them on time, or purchase agricultural equipment that farmers could use to increase their production. And with our long-term loans, the cooperatives were able to issue microcredits of their own to help farmers invest in improvements such as better processing and storage of their harvests.

Technical support

Local partners help farmers diversify their crops. This allows them to fall back on alternative sources of income if the harvest fails, and reduces the risk of food shortages. Our partners also offer the farmers access to better agricultural techniques and resources to improve their yields, and teach them how to deal with extreme drought or rainfall. Farmers then apply the new knowledge themselves and share it with others within their cooperatives. In 2020, 59% of our project partners received technical assistence.

Local teams

Our local consultants are spread across our focus countries in Latin America to offer our local partners technical support. They speak the language, and understand the culture and the environment. That allows them to quickly form a bond with the partners and their member farmers. It also helps us to quickly identify new challenges and potential solutions.

illustration Latin America

Results Latin America

illustration Latin America

7 countries

we are active in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua and Peru.

Illustration coins

€ 12.0 million

we provided in the form of loans, trade finance, technical assistance and grants.

Illustration support growth


producer cooperatives, savings and credit cooperatives, and SMEs in Food & Agri were thus given the opportunity to start or scale up their operations. And, by doing so, strengthen the position of smallholder farmers.

Mouth mask

€ 128,908

we provided to 28 organizations we supported from our Covid-19 emergency fund.

Illustration training


of our organizations received technical assistance, such as education and training in agricultural techniques and crop diversification.

Explore our impact in other countries

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