Mission: The mission of agros international is to see rural poor families own agricultural land, attain economic self-sufficiency, realize their god-given potential, and pass on to future generations the values and resources that will enable them to flourish.
Programs: The agros model is a uniquely holistic approach to alleviating rural poverty. By providing long-term land loans to the poor along with training and services, entire rural villages are empowered to become self-sustaining and escape the devastating effects of extreme poverty. In the past year, agros served 489 families in 7 communities/3 countries, with an integrated program of health, education, financial empowerment, and agri-business development. Every community realized meaningful improvements in each intervention area: child/maternal health, food security and nutrition, educational attainment, dignified homes/clean water/public health, agricultural production increases, and loan repayments/earned equity. Agros expanded an accelerated agri-business plan that integrates working capital, technical training, and commercialization support to farming families. Farmer participation in this plan grew from 55% in the previous year to 91% in this past year. Acres under agri-business cultivation grew from 185 acres in september 2016 to 305 acres in september 2017--a 65% increase in participation in one year's time. The average central american small-holder farmer produces 1. 8 harvest per year. Agros farmers are realizing 2. 4 harvests per year and are on their way to producing 3. 5 harvest per year next year. The transition from subsistence to economically sustainable producer occurs at around 3 harvests per year.
I have had the chance to see Agros' work first hand - on the ground in the Barillas area of northern Guatemala.
Part of what makes Agros unique is that their field operations are all run and staffed by locals, from management to agronomists, microlending experts, to office administrators. The respectful, inclusive way in which they work with local indigenous communities to establish housing, schools, health and sanitation systems, and economic opportunities is very very impressive.
The management team in Seattle is also very professional, and they do a fantastic job of providing updates on each of their programs.