Forget your 401 K…invest in organic farming.
March 15, 2018
l'or noir
Le nouvel Or Noir: la terre.
May 13, 2018

The new Black Gold: SOIL

Black gold

An investment option from farmers to people: 7.5%.

Banksters not welcome.

If you are happy with the 1.5% in interest your bank splurges in your savings’ account at the end of the year, this story is not for you.
If you have been tricked – I mean, misinformed – by bankers on the terms of a loan, and are fed up trying to save your money tirelessly, then our story may be appealing.

Last month, I finally decided to reply to several loan offers requesting a $10,000 loan to fund our agricultural cassava project (also known as yucca or manioc) in The Philippines, which in turn would create $15,000 in revenue to our farmers’ association after only nine months, pay farmers and feed their family. Around 200 people for each hectare harvested.

green gold

The Cassava Project, Philippines

Some lenders were so touched to participate in such a humanitarian project and feel ‘organic’ at the same time, we were pre-approved right away (though everyone else receives the same fake fraternal ‘pre-approval’ hook smile, you still feel special – that’s the whole point).
After a quick peak at my credit score with a 20 year-old company in not so bad standing (our ‘good standing’ was converted by the bank) and a NGO to support farmers, the friendly bankers guaranteed a great rate, knowing it would help feed some people, of some village. Somewhere.

cassava harvest

cassava weeding

 Wow, finally found someone who cares…! So they came back with teary eyes and a great offer “designed to best benefit our cause and budget”, as they put it. We were offered a privileged rate of 10% rate per month over 4 months…not too bad, considering many credit cards scratch the 30% rate ceiling on cash advances.  But before I signed, a dubious and unclear figure caught my attention. A balance due of $14,000.
If our rate was 10 %, the balance due should be around $11,000, give or take, right? Not exactly.

 When I questioned the meaning of the “10% per month” repayment I was told it was “Just a technical detail”. Well, that detail showed the bank would actually charge me 10% of the borrowed amount on a per-month basis…each month! 

cassava farmer

Cassava Farmer

For most of us who passed 6th grade math class, it amounts to…an interest of 40%. That’s right. The bank (actually a private lender) was selling us a heart-felt, pro-farmer deal at only 10 % interest, but would actually collect $14,000 from me, divided into 20 convenient automated weekly payments of $700 each. And the first withdrawal would occur…the week after I would sign.  Now I see why fall for it.
“All it takes now is your signature, and it’s a go”.

Welcome to the New World Banking of all legal predatory lending.

Now let’s get to the point.

We still need to harvest five hectares of yucca to provide jobs for 200 people to feed their family next month.  So, in the name of Palanas Farmers Association and Farmers Relief, I will offer a flat 7.5% interest return to anyone interested in lending our farmers’ association this amount, and will repay the borrowed amount once the harvest is complete, nine months later.

  Cassava 2 months old6lb cassava root      One cassava root

What’s the catch?

Simple. Because of the limited size of the fields, there will be a total investment ceiling of $18,200.  This is not a one-time loan for the farmers; it’s part of their life; so when this harvest is finished, another will begin.
But if you are happy with the results of your first cassava investment, you may choose to return for the rice harvests twice a year, who knows.

Any risks?

What does not bear risks these days…
1) We do not know each other.  You will be transferring $1,000 or more to a NGO you do not know. Which is why we are using our friends’ and business networks for this opportunity. It is somewhat of a moral reference.

2) The weather. It is a small, yet realistic factor to consider that could affect the crop, hence, the return on investment. However, we offer the Cassava Project because it is a root and less likely to be so affected, as other commodities would be.
Though it has not happened, should there be complete loss of produce, we will not be able to reimburse the initial investment.

farmers at lunch

Farmers at lunch,Leyte, Philippines

Jimmy Carter says it best: “Go out on a limb, that’s where the fruit is”.

Terms (simple and clear)

Harvest Investment Amount:
JUNE 2018: $10,000

Mars/April 2019: $11,000

(Maximum investment limit $18,000)
(Because weather affects harvests, we are not able to provide a specific date)

If interested, email me back with the amount you wish to invest – at least $1,000 per person minimum per investment would be preferable.

I will then send you a secured PayPal link for either a credit/debit card, or PayPal payment.

Some of us are convinced we can create a network of small investors with true rewards, while bypassing the claws of the controlling banking system.
Every month, we will send pictures and videos to share the health of the crops and update all investors. Or as they would say in banking terms, a sort of monthly status of your agro-investor’s account.

Thanks for the trust of the three investors who already jumped in the project before this post was published.

Arnaud Agman (CFC)
Chief FarmerCist at Farmers Relief
Farmers Relief
Farmers Relief
If governments cannot provide healthcare for the people, rice will.

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