Nurturing Bolivian Greenhouse Farming

Bank Banco FIE
Client Saturnina Torres Rojas
Location Valley Achocalla, Bolivia

Saturnina is a Bolivian entrepreneur who lives in the Valley Achocalla, a town located 30 kilometres from the city of La Paz (seat of government of Bolivia). She is married and has five children.

Most of the local community is engaged in agriculture and livestock management. For 20 years Saturnina has been dedicated to agriculture. More than four years ago she decided to stop open-field production and chose to focus on greenhouse agriculture.

Saturnina produces lettuce and radishes, as well as aromatic herbs such as sage, thyme, basil and mint. She sells the lettuce on Saturdays in the Market Rodriguez of La Paz, one of the largest supply centers in the city. At the market Saturnina prepares 400 bags of lettuce, each costing 6 Bolivianos (0.87 cents in US dollars).

‘If I sell all the bags of lettuce that I bring to the city, I can get about 1,200 bolivianos ($ 170) in one day,’ she smiles.

Saturnina has been a client of Banco FIE for three years. Her first loan was for 10,000 Bolivianos ($ 1,428) to start agricultural production in greenhouses.

‘I am very proud of  everything I’ve achieved with the support of my family. Gradually it changed our lives. We have money to meet our needs and to invest in improving our productivity. I want my children to be better-off than I. Perhaps they will be professionals instead of farmers; that is my greatest aspiration,’ says Saturnina with a face of calm and satisfaction.