BGR Partner Post: Cultivating faith in agriculture through co-ops and coffee
Micro Enterprise and Job Skills | Print
The following was written by a BGR partner who has been integral to the establishment of the Kingdom Growers co-op. It has been edited for grammar and clarity.
Farming is an act of faith. Farmers must cultivate soil, put seed in the ground and protect crops from bugs and disease while also completely depending on the sun and the rain. All of this is very hard work, and it’s stressful and uncertain. While I lived in Central America, I saw all of this work and faith abused by local brokers while farmers remained isolated from the market their coffee deserved. This is why I am so excited about the impact Cultivadores del Reino (Kingdom Growers) is having.
It’s easy to give you stats on how Kingdom Growers helps with market access and increases income, etc. However, it’s hard to describe what it feels like to have a concrete floor in your house when you have been living on dirt or what it feels like to see the glow of a light bulb at night when you have never had electricity. It’s hard to describe how it feels like to have the work of your hands rewarded instead of abused. I find it difficult to explain these things because I have never experienced living without lights or living in a home has a dirt floor and lacks plumbing and sanitation. And, I have never been truly without ways to provide for my family.
While I cannot describe personally what it feels like when Kingdom Growers helps my business or provides a way to take care of my family, I can tell you what that process looks like for others. It looks like a smile. It looks proud because a person’s improved life didn’t result from charity; it was earned. It looks like someone motivated to share their success with others in and around their community. It looks like opportunity for children to be healthy and educated. It looks like hope for the future.