Portfolio Spotlight: Aldea Global

MCE Social Capital
4 min readJul 28, 2021

Providing a range of services for smallholder coffee farmers in Nicaragua

In July 2021, MCE made a $1.0 million debt investment in Asociación Aldea Global Jinotega (Aldea Global). The association was established in 1992 by 22 smallholder farmers in northern Nicaragua to promote organic cultivation and improve health and development of rural families. It has since grown to support more than 14,800 associates through diversified operations including provision of microfinance services, input supplies, agricultural certifications, coffee processing and exporting. Under the leadership of 60 delegates (40% of which are women), Aldea Global operates in three main lines of business:

1) Aldea Credito — providing microfinance services to smallholder associates.

2) Aldea Coffee — purchasing, processing and exporting coffee from smallholder associates.

3) AldeaZon — selling good quality inputs or providing them against a microloan to associates.

The association also operates several supporting lines of business, including:

  1. AldeaCert — providing certification support to smallholder associates (including organic, UTZ, Rainforest Alliance, Fair Trade and Manos de Mujer).
  2. AldeaTech — providing coffee growers with individualized remote assistance (i.e. recommendations depending on the weather forecast) through an App.

Aldea Global remains profitable and sustainable in all its business lines and has successfully diversified its loan portfolio beyond coffee to include cattle, grains, vegetables, small stores, land purchase, and machinery acquisition. Additionally, the association established a foundation arm (Fundación Aldea) in 2017, which supports farmers through a variety of development projects including strategic partnerships, technical assistance, and climate-smart agriculture. When a farmer receives a loan and becomes an associate for the first time, they are automatically assessed to determine which technical assistance programs may support a loan recipient based on their profile, location, and interests.

Agricultural activities are the main source of income for 94% of associate households, and according to the association’s latest Poverty Probability Index (PPI) study, an estimated 40.4% of associates are likely to live below the national poverty line ($2.21 per person per day) as of February 2020. Aldea Global specifically targets these poor rural populations in an effort to build local capacity through financial access and technical support. The association allows producers to jointly gain access to export markets through value-added processing that would otherwise be unavailable. To further this mission, Aldea Global is currently investing US$ 22m in a processing plant that will contribute to greater efficiencies and increase the level of added value — resulting in higher incomes for associates.

Aldea Global’s microfinance operations have displayed strong resilience in the face of challenges throughout the 2018 political crisis, hurricanes Eta and Iota in November 2020, and the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, the organization expanded from 3 branches in 2017 to 7 branches in 2021 while maintaining a healthy microfinance portfolio. In upcoming years, Aldea Global seeks to further expand its microfinance operations, increase volumes of associate-produced coffee processed and exported, and continue to diversify its loan portfolio.

MCE’s investment will allow the organization’s microfinance program to scale its agricultural loan portfolio for the 2020–21 season (with a target of 8,200 metric tons of gold coffee) and further portfolio diversification towards other non-coffee activities. We are thrilled by the opportunity to support one of the most innovative, impactful, and consolidated yet high-growth Nicaraguan social organizations as they seek to reach 30,000 associates by 2030.

Aldea Global’s Administrative Team in Jinotega, Nicaragua

Learn more about about MCE’s Financial Inclusion portfolio here.

--

--

MCE Social Capital

MCE is a nonprofit impact investing firm that mobilizes capital to generate economic opportunity for women and rural families living in poverty. mcesocap.org