Jul 19, 2018

Smallholder Farmers and Agriculture Finance

Smallholder farmers living in rural areas are often particularly vulnerable economically due to factors such as unpredictable weather patterns, low crop yield, low market prices, and a lack of access to quality financial services.

Opportunity recognizes the need for financial services for those living in poverty in rural areas and whose livelihoods are often dependent on their crop yield. Agriculture Finance provides farmers with tailored savings and loan products, connections to high-quality farm inputs, training in business and farming best practices, and market access. These tools have enabled smallholder farmers across seven African countries to earn a more reliable income.

Opportunity’s tools help farmers to be more resilient to external shocks that are often beyond their control. Ninety-four percent of our clients live on less than $2.50/day and 61% of our clients are women—indicative of Opportunity’s desire to reach the most marginalized.

Since the Agricultural Finance program launched, Opportunity has:

  • Empowered farmers within 42 crop types.
  • Reached 91% of our goal to empower 500,000 farmers by the end of 2017.
  • Established partnerships with 54 External Service Providers to enhance the services we provide to smallholder farmers.
  • Created 16 agricultural finance publications to develop and educate the farming community.

Yakuba, who lives in Ghana, is farming smarter with the tools from Opportunity’s AgFinance program.

“I was blessed with 10 acres of land. Unfortunately, I only farmed three due to lack of capital and labor. Then, I heard about Opportunity Ghana. I eagerly enrolled in the training sessions and before long I invested my first loan to purchase seeds and fertilizer. We got the use of farming equipment and access to a buyer for my sorghum. I have never had this training and support before. On my first harvest, the buyer paid my loan directly and sent me the profit. Today, I have money in a savings account to pay for my children’s school uniforms and books. My family has a bright future.”

Opportunity is eager to develop more innovative products so that we may continue to empower farmers like Yakuba to cultivate brighter futures for her their families. Thank you for your support!

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Jul 3, 2018

Opportunity Uganda's Transformation Team

Opportunity Uganda’s Transformation Team is the trusted, community face of Opportunity in Uganda. The team embodies, maintains, and mobilizes the Opportunity vision by delivering non-financial programs to facilitate holistic transformation and pave a pathway toward financial inclusion.

The Ugandan Transformation Team:

  • Delivers financial literacy and digital literacy training for clients and staff to facilitate deep and lasting transformation in people’s lives.
  • Empowers marginalized and excluded people via Community Outreach and Awareness along their journeys toward financial inclusion.
  • Conducts Staff training and leadership development: The team invests in the potential of staff and community leaders to become effective agents and champions of positive change.
  • Innovates by researching and piloting new ways to effectively reach and serve our target groups.

Activity highlights in 2018, include:

  • Uganda’s transformation team conducted satisfaction and transformation surveys among 2,486 clients. Findings will be used to refine products and services for maximum impact.
  • Cell phone voice messaging enhance financial literacy training, encouraging positive savings and loan repayment habits by Ugandan families.  
  • Collaboration with the National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda in the OBUL branch added ramps that will improve branch access. The bank and transformation teams have empowered 1,600 persons with disabilities since the partnership began. 

Thank you for supporting Opportunity's work in Uganda!

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Jun 26, 2018

Opportunity in Nicaragua

Thank you for partnering with us in Nicaragua where the halls of Emprendedora Technical School are filled with hope, families are putting nutritious food on the table, and community buildings are overflowing as neighbors come together to facilitate change that improves quality of life for all.

We are joining together to strengthen communities. Opportunity has established a presence in 60 rural farming communities. There, neighbors are joining hands to address shared challenges with greater belief in themselves and in each other. The Community Development program includes community leader workshops such as: Improving Leadership Skills, Increasing Capacity to Manage Community Initiatives, and Mobilizing Resources. In 2017:

  • 300 women benefitted from health services, including trainings on reproductive health, medical check-ups, PAP tests, and access to vocational school.
  • Families from 13 communities received awareness training on family values and the prevention of domestic violence and sexual exploitation. Follow-up services include in-home conflict mediation and family counseling.
  • 258 women participated in development workshops focused on increased self-confidence. Women reported an improved sense of well-being and quality of life.  
  • Members from 10 farmer groups engaged in faith-building activities.
  • For 2018, two new neighborhood projects are being evaluated—a multipurpose community space and structural improvements to a church. 

Currently, Nicaragua is undergoing its biggest uprising in nearly 30 years. In the wake of anti-government protests that began on April 18, 2018, the country has experienced protests, national strikes, and violence that have led to a major national crisis. As a result, Nicaraguans are now facing severe food and gas shortages, roadblocks, and more, with economic activity coming to a standstill. Please join our entire team as we pray for our colleagues, clients, students, and friends in Nicaragua. We are thankful for their safety and plan to support our staff and clients with financial resources as they navigate this challenging situation.

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