Mobilising internal finance within a forest and farm producer organisation: a case study of the Santa Anita Savings and Credit Cooperative
This case study forms part of a series of six case studies on mobilising internal finance within Forest and Farm Producer Organisations (FFPOs) prepared by FFPOs for the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF).
Access to credit is a key exclusion experienced by the Indigenous communities in Ecuador. To overcome this, the Union of Peasant and Indigenous Organizations of Cotacachi (UNORCAC), decided to create a finance mechanism that would facilitate access to credit for rural communities. This case study describes the process through which UNORCAC established its own credit and savings cooperative. The Santa Anita cooperative is now 21 years old and has seen significant growth in its membership, territorial coverage, assets, credit portfolio and equity. It has supported building agricultural value chains for farming families and helped mobilise much-needed resources, including funds from outside the rural sector.
This study provides an overview of the origins, evolution and current structure of the Santa Anita Cooperative, the lessons learned, its impact to date and its prospects for the future.