The John Deere Foundation recently approved a $2.5 million grant to support Opportunity’s agricultural finance program, which will extend a full range of financial services and crop-specific loans to smallholder farmers in five countries in Africa.
“We are impressed with the progress that Opportunity International has made in increasing access to financial services for African farmers, food processors and retailers,” said John Bustle, vice president, John Deere Foundation. “Likewise, we are excited and optimistic about Opportunity’s ongoing efforts to create a sustainable framework for enhanced food security through increased food production, food availability at local markets and family income to purchase food.”
The John Deere Foundation grant will help Opportunity International achieve its objectives to introduce 450 new banking access sites, extend agricultural loans to over 500,000 new clients, including 95,000 farmer clients, and open 1.4 million interest-bearing savings accounts, with 950,000 of those in rural areas. Plans are also in place to hire 200 agricultural loan officers in the next three years.
With the addition of the John Deere Foundation’s support, half of Opportunity’s $37 million rural outreach program is now funded. Supporters are encouraged to help fully fund this initiative to end hunger in Africa.
Learn more about Opportunity’s innovative and holistic approach to providing small-scale African farmers with comprehensive financial tools that help them grow more crops, increase their family’s income, and feed their villages. Attend the breakout session, “Agricultural Finance: Cultivating Hope,” at the Opportunity International Conference, Oct. 14-15 in San Francisco. Visit opportunity.org/conference to learn more.