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Growing Rural Economies through Agricultural Finance in Africa

By Opportunity International

Coffee farmer Teddy Namagembe.In the last decade, Opportunity International embarked on an agricultural finance and rural savings program to spur economic activity and provide enduring resources for smallholder farmers and other rural clients in five African countries, including Uganda, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique and Rwanda.

Opportunity’s approach is to help farmers move from subsistence growing to cash crop production with agriculture-specific loans, savings accounts, crop insurance, effective fertilizers, drought-resistant seeds and technical assistance. Agricultural loan officers guide farmers through the distribution process, providing linkages to agricultural markets.

By achieving their potential, farmers will be able to feed their families and become major food suppliers to the growing global population.

Teddy Namagembe works on her coffee farm from 7 a.m. to sunset each day to support her four children. She used to sell her coffee beans before they were ripe to make ends meet. As an agricultural finance and savings client with Opportunity Uganda, she can now wait for the beans to ripen fully and sell them at a greater profit.

Want to delve deeper into Opportunity’s agricultural finance programs? John Magnay, senior agricultural advisor in Africa, led a breakout session at Opportunity’s annual conference two weeks ago. Read about that session, in which Magnay details the tools, strategies and goals of the program that is making great strides towards improving the lives of smallholder farmers in Africa. Watch Magnay’s breakout session presentation in the video below.

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