Feed the Future
This project is part of the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative.

Latest Impact Findings on Financing Africa's Smallholder Farms

Feb 28, 2014
institutional sponsor: 
United States Agency for International Development (USAID)


Please join John Magnay, head of Agricultural Finance, and Simona Haiduc, Vice President of International Business Development, for the Latest Impact Findings on Financing Africa’s Smallholder Farmers, a discussion on Opportunity International's rural finance model, impact assessment results and strategy for reaching more of Africa’s smallholder farmers. Since 2009, Opportunity International has disbursed more than 164,000 agricultural loans and opened more than 618,000 rural savings accounts across Uganda, Malawi, Rwanda, Ghana, and Mozambique in collaboration with key partners, including The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The MasterCard Foundation, The Caterpillar Foundation and John Deere. Last year, a rigorous impact study across three countries demonstrated that the rural finance initiative equipped client farmers to increase their crop yields, improve their cash flow, and access vital necessities including food, education, and health care. Please mark your calendar for this webinar to learn more about innovative strategies for improving lives in Africa’s agricultural communities.


Headshot: John Magnay
John Magnay
Opportunity International

Headshot: John MagnayJohn Magnay is a Senior Agriculture Advisor at Opportunity International.

Headshot: John Magnay He has lived and worked in Uganda for the last 31 years. In private business, Magnay has been involved in both the agricultural input and output markets. In 2001 he founded and chaired Uganda Grain Traders Ltd., a consortium of 16 companies formed to alleviate the Uganda maize market crash of 2001-2002. In recent years Magnay has been lobbying locally and internationally on the issues related to strengthening the output markets in Africa. As a private consultant for WFP, FAO, and The World Bank, he has advised on agribusiness and output market development in Madagascar (rice), Malawi (tobacco), Rwanda (agribusiness), and Ethiopia (grain). This involves understanding the interaction between governments, donors, and the private sector.

Headshot: Simona Haiduc
Simona Haiduc
Opportunity International

Headshot: Simona HaiducSimona Haiduc is the Vice President of International Business Developmen

Headshot: Simona Haiduct at Opportunity International. In her current role, Haiduc is actively engaged in managing Opportunity International's relationships and building business development strategies with government agencies, multilateral donor institutions, and large foundations. Haiduc also manages the program management team—supervising the planning, fund allocation and management, and the monitoring and evaluation processes of major grants from private and technical donors. Prior to joining Opportunity International in 2003, Haiduc managed the microcredit program for the Open Society/Soros Foundation, Cluj Branch, in Romania. She holds a Master's of Science in management of international organizations from New York University.

Genzo Yamamoto
Opportunity International

As the Director of Knowledge Management at Opportunity International, Genzo Yamamoto oversees the research, evaluation, and knowledge generation related to many of Opportunity International's

programs. His research has cut across many different topics – microinsurance, housing finance, and agriculture finance, for example – across multiple countries in Africa, South America, and Asia. Yamamoto has a Ph.D. from Yale and a C.E.P. from The Evaluators’ Institute at the George Washington University.