Sunethra’s husband is ill so it falls to her alone to provide for her family. On their small plot of land Sunethra has planted pepper and flowers and tended them carefully. She showed me how she first plants the seed in a plastic tub, keeps it inside, watering it carefully until it sprouts and then she finds a shady spot where it can grow. Until now Sunethra hasn’t had the money to buy pots and had relied on villagers coming to her place to buy the flowers.
With the Mia Fratino loan Sunethra has bought pots and a new supply of seeds and is preparing to sell the flowers at market together with the peppercorns and other spices.
Donita and her husband provide for themselves and their two daughters by processing coconuts to sell as charcoal. Firstly they buy coconut shells, each shell costs about 1 rupee (about 1 cent). When they have developed a stockpile, they burn the shells to make charcoal which they then sell to agents and local shops. The price of coconut and the price of charcoal fluctuates. There are times when they have no money at all so they are forced to sell their charcoal at the market price even if that means making a loss.
Using the money from the Mia Fratino loan Donita has bought a stock of coconuts. With the help of a nearby mill she is processing the copra (kernel) to make coconut oil and using the shell to make charcoal. With this small headstart she can afford to wait until the charcoal prices are good so she can make a good wage from her hard work.