Microcredit: The vigor endures

While some press reports have played up failures in India, the heart of the industry remains strong

Diego Treminio leans back in his rocking chair and gestures to the expansive patio that looks out onto the Nicaraguan hills. Whenever he makes money he invests in one of three things – his house, his farm or his children’s education.

On all three scores he has done well. Besides the patio, he has added several rooms to his house. He has tripled the size of his farm to 65 acres. Several children have graduated from university.

This, he says, is because of help from MEDA – both its sesame project that operated for several years, and its microfinance program, MiCredito, of which Treminio is a client.

He can’t say enough good about MiCredito and the way affordable credit can transform a small farm. He knows there are other microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Nicaragua, but he wants nothing to do with them. “They abuse the producer,” he says bluntly, “and they charge higher interest.”

Read more from the January/February edition of Marketplace Magazine.