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Brazilian microcredit banks train at BRS
Trias invited BRS to organise a two-day training course for Brazilian credit cooperatives on the topic of product development, specially tailored to the needs of family farmers.
In 1995, Cresol was a freshly formed federation of 74 credit cooperatives representing a total of 132,000 Brazilian farming families. The Cresol network has provided many disadvantaged farmers with access to microcredits that they could use to purchase their first livestock, machinery and seeds.
The added value of BRS
Today, Cresol is still an important partner of Trias in Brazil. During a study trip in Europe, Trias invited BRS to give their Brazilian guests some useful tips on marketing and product development.
‘As a specialist in microfinance and microinsurance, BRS is the perfect partner to give such training sessions,’ said Jasmien Bronckaers from Trias. ‘Concrete examples from KBC and the experiences of BRS in the South brought the theoretical marketing concepts to life.’
‘We have learned the importance of actively involving the members of credit cooperatives in our product development,’ said Adriano Michelon, general manager of Cresol, afterwards. In the future, he would prefer Cresol to work with a more bottom-up approach, instead of top-down, when developing new financial products and services.
Although Brazil has developed into an emerging economy, Trias continues its support to Cresol. ‘We aim to expand Cresol’s formula, which has been successful in the southern state of Paraná, to the poorer northern regions. Many family farmers there still find it difficult to obtain microcredit,’ acknowledges Bronckaers.