Conscientious Cook: Kiva Loan Update

Last week we asked you to support a farmer through Kiva, joining us as we loaned him money to help grow his farm in Nicaragua.

Here's an update...

Emiliano Sanchez Hernandez's $1050 loan request was fulfilled very quickly - within about 3 days. This is normal for Kiva, where most loans are covered very fast. They recently removed the $25 per loan limit, as many of you pointed out, and now you can loan much larger amounts of money.

We appreciated the fact that we loaned alongside nearly 30 other people, and how this creates a mini-community of people who join along with the loanee to help see their business grow. Were you one of these 30 or so Kiva loaners?

A note, too, about the ecological side of this particular loan. This farmer was asking for a loan to purchase pesticides and fertilizers for his crops. We chose this project deliberately, as this is very common in developing countries, and the idea of organic and earth-friendly farming is not very dominant.

Subsistence farming and the early beginnings of a business mean doing whatever works. We wanted to highlight the tensions and inherent complications of both being involved in developing countries and the issues that face farmers there with respect to "green" practices.

We would obviously like to support both organic and fair-trade projects, and we like to support family farms wherever possible. But what are the inherent complications, tensions, and compromises that have to be made? We're always interested in discussing them.

Thoughts?