During 2017, Latin America, our region of operations, continued to experience similar challenges to those in 2016. Some countries faced adverse weather conditions, while others suffered from political turmoil. Heavy rains and hurricanes affected countries like Peru and the Dominican Republic, destroying thousands of hectares of crops. Brazil, Ecuador and Mexico were affected by internal and external political situations causing economic complications. On the other hand, Central America had a strong performance, as the region benefited from both political and climatic stability.
In spite of these challenges, LAAD surpassed its 2016 operational results in both loan disbursement and net income levels. These record levels were fueled by 305 disbursements in 15 different countries reaching over US$239.5 million. The projects financed by LAAD in 2017 created over 10,000 new jobs and US$170 million per year in foreign currency for the region.
Projects involving coffee led the way, with 17% of total disbursements during the year. Banana, cattle and soybeans followed with 14%, 8% and 7%, respectively. The four products represented 46% of total disbursements. The remaining volume was constituted by various other products. As a result, LAAD’s agribusiness loan portfolio grew by 11.7% on a year-to-year basis, reaching a record US$745 million at the end of fiscal year 2017.