The OPIC Blog

Archive for the agriculture Tag

The story behind acai: How one small business helped make the rainforest “too valuable to cut down.”

Fourteen years ago, a business idea was hatched during a surfing vacation to Brazil when a group of friends from southern California discovered the tasty and nutrient-rich acai (ah-sigh-ee) berry. They started Sambazon (short for “sustainable management of the Brazilian Amazon”) to process the berries for sale in juices. But as a small startup, Sambazon faced difficulty obtaining credit. In Read more…

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OPIC client Root Capital reaches a $100 million milestone

Congratulations to OPIC client Root Capital for reaching $100 million in active loans for the first time in its 15-year history! Root Capital is a nonprofit social investment fund that strengthens rural livelihoods in poor, environmentally vulnerable places in Africa and Latin America. Root Capital provides a reliable source of financing for clients, enabling them to make investments in agricultural Read more…

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Video: Spotlight on OPIC’s Impact

Eight OPIC projects that are making a difference around the world.

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Featured photo: Global Partnerships, winner of OPIC Impact Award for Access to Finance

A farmer in Nicaragua tends to young coffee plants, which will replace and build on his aging crop. This agricultural expansion was made possible through credit offered by a subsidiary lender of Global Partnerships, an impact investor that was able to expand its lending in Latin America thanks to OPIC support. Global Partnerships’ Social Investment Fund 5.0 was a recipient Read more…

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Featured photo: Bountiful harvest in Ethiopia

In honor of Earth Day on April 22, this photo, a Feed the Future photo contest winner, shows a farmer in Ethiopia, succeeding against the odds and producing a bountiful harvest in drought conditions. He is transporting a variety of chickpea called “areti,” which means “not afraid of drought.” The areti was introduced by the International Crop Research Institute for Read more…

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On World Food Day, U.N. highlights “the world’s greatest solvable problem”

Despite significant progress in recent decades, an estimated 842 million people, or about one in eight of the people in the world, still suffer from chronic hunger. Since 1979, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has recognized World Food Day each year on Oct. 16 to draw attention to what it calls the world’s greatest solvable Read more…

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Collaboration among development institutions can catalyze more green investments in the developing world

By Brian O’Hanlon, Director of Business Development, Political and Sovereign Risk Last week, I joined OPIC President and CEO, Elizabeth Littlefield and OPIC Chief of Staff John Morton for an unprecedented event in the world of development finance. CEOs and representatives from 15 development finance institutions (DFIs) met in Frankfurt, Germany to discuss how to scale up climate finance in Read more…

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Featured photo: Conserving water during irrigation

A field in Mexico uses a drip tape irrigation system provided by Wade Rain Inc., a small business based in Tualatin, Oregon. Wade Rain’s Mexican subsidiary sells irrigation equipment — most of it manufactured in the U.S. — to small farms in central Mexico and has helped introduce more efficient irrigation technologies such as drip tape, in which long lines Read more…

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Featured photo: Helping more farmers grow more food

The head agronomist at the Forestry Agricultural Investment Management (FAIM) farm in Rwamagana, Rwanda. FAIM is  applying its plant propagation technology to improve crop yields, and obtained a loan from OPIC in 2012 to support its work in Rwanda, the most densely populated country in Africa, where many families suffer from food insecurity and malnutrition. While a majority of Rwandans are Read more…

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“We must do both:” Littlefield says development must focus on people and the planet

OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield spoke at the U.N. Climate Change Conference earlier this month, where  she addressed the particular challenges of promoting sustainability in the developing world. She stressed that expanded access to natural resources and more efficient use of those resources must be twin priorities. Littlefield’s comments challenged a common perception that rapid, so-called “dirty” development was Read more…

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