Friday, May 4, 2012

New Field Partner: Sistema Biobolsa turns waste into opportunity for small farms

A hearty welcome to Kiva’s newest Field Partner, Sistema Biobolsa!

Unlike most of our partners, Biobolsa is not a microfinance institution. It’s a company that has developed an affordable system to transform waste into fertilizer and energy. For poor rural farmers whose livelihoods are based on their crops, this is practically a form of alchemy.

Based in Mexico, Biobolsa manufactures and distributes low-cost biodigestors, which convert livestock waste into organic fertilizer and biogas for cooking, heat and electricity. Its innovative technology is rooted in the belief that small farms are the key to rural economic prosperity and food stability. As such, Biobolsa offers training programs and interest-free loans to help farmers buy, use and maintain their biodigesters.

Recognizing that the upfront cost of the equipment excludes many of its target customers, Biobolsa implemented a 0% interest loan program to help farmers spread out their payments, allowing the system to “pay for itself” during the loan repayment period. 

Kiva is excited to help support and expand Biobolsa’s lending program with its flexible, risk-tolerant capital, extending the many benefits of biodigester technology to more farmers.

These benefits include:

Better Health: Biogas allows families to replace wood fuel for cooking, reducing exposure to indoor air contamination -- a major cause of respiratory health issues and the related deaths of millions of women and children worldwide.

Cleaner drinking water: Biodigesters eliminate the need for chemical fertilizers and treated animal waste, which can contaminate water sources.

Improved productivity: Organic fertilizer improves crop productivity and biogas provides a free source of energy, so farmers have more time and money to diversify their products.

Quality of life: Because biodigesters consume waste, there are fewer odors and insects.

Environmental sustainability: Biodigesters reduce the need for wood fuel and help prevent some sources of water contamination, which means less greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation.

We believe Biobolsa’s innovative technology will go a long way toward empowering farmers and their communities.

For more information on Sistema Biobolsa, check out its Kiva Field Partner profile. Or lend to Biobolsa borrowers today. Send any questions or comments about Biobolsa or Kiva's involvement in biodigestors to