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A better life is inclusive. For someone like Eldy Tutor, wishing for personal progress can be something more. She desires for her community to progress with her.
A 44-year-old businesswoman from Maasim, Saranggani Province, Eldy started ginger cultivation with her husband using their 1-hectare land. Their first marketing move was to look for volume buyers from nearby towns and provinces. They borrowed two sacks of ginger from a farmer who agreed to have him paid after they sold it.
Convinced of the great potential of ginger, the farmers soon moved from corn to ginger production. Eldy supported their transition by giving them the capital needed to tend their lands. She never imposed interests on the money she was lending them. She also lent fertilizers and even opened their credit line from her sari-sari store.
With growing demands for ginger, Eldy applied for additional capital with KMBI. This allowed her to support the increasing number of farmers in their area.
Her integrity and honesty gained her the trust and loyalty of these farmers. She believes in small markups and volume sales. She reinvests 70% of her income to help farmers, 20% for savings, and 10% for household needs. Aside from their ginger business and sari-sari store, she also buys fruits from Davao which she resells in Maasim. Business has grown with the purchase of a building for storage and vehicles used for the business.
To her community, Eldy is a dependable person. She has been using her resources to help people in their area who need to borrow money especially for hospital needs. Eldy believes that people in need shouldn’t be burdened with the interests in the money they borrow.
Currently, there are around 220 farmers who grow ginger and sell it to Eldy. These same farmers have already purchased vehicles, while some have already built new houses. Farmers have since been earning hundreds of thousands to two million pesos per harvest.
Just recently, Eldy made it to the Sinag Accelerate Program of the Bank of the Philippine Islands(BPI), which aims to help social entrepreneurs like her to scale up their businesses and magnify their impact to the community. Out of 250 applicants, she was selected to be among the top 36 candidates for the program.
Eldy also recently started a banana plantation business with 10 hectares of farmland. She plans to sell her produce around Manila. With the amount of income she is generating both from her ginger and banana plantation businesses, she can at any time stop getting loans from KMBI, but she chooses not to.
“I would never leave KMBI because it gave us the opportunity for a better life, and for me to be able to pass this chain of progress to others.”