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

AskAg Chat: Facilitating and Financing Agricultural Technologies

Event Date: 
Apr 26, 2018
12:00 pm to 1:00 pm EDT
Online Event


Technology has the potential to scale up agricultural production and get timely information and tools into the hands of farmers to inform their agricultural planning and investments.

On Thursday, April 26, Agrilinks will host a special Ask Ag Online Chat in conjunction with the organizers of the 2018 Cracking the Nut conference, convening a team of experts for an online discussion and Q&A on facilitating and financing agricultural technologies. This discussion will address questions such as:

  • How can one identify and assess the value of a new agricultural technology?
  • What are the parameters required to pilot a new technology before determining that it is ready for scaling within a country or across borders? 
  • How can potential investors ensure that ag technology investments are climate-smart or at least do not harm the local environment? 

The event is part of the 2018 Cracking the Nut conference to be held on June 12-13, in Antigua, Guatemala, with a focus on encouraging the uptake of new technologies for agriculture and access to finance to promote resilience.

All are welcome - no registration required. Please note that you must create an Agrilinks account and log in to participate in the discussion, which is already open for comment but not facilitated until the start of the event, 1pm EST April 26. 


Melissa Matlock
Project Manager
Connexus Corporation

Melissa is an Agricultural Finance Specialist with almost 10 years of working in agribusiness development and access to finance.

A Project Manager, she oversees USAID/Rwanda’s Private Sector Driven Agricultural Growth and and Huguka Dukore and projects for Connexus. She has designed and delivered several trainings and technical assistance, including on “Agricultural Value Chain Finance” and “Developing Youth-appropriate Financial Services” for Rwandan financial institutions. She also designed a successful training for the USAID Financing Ghanaian Agriculture Project on “Gender and Financial Inclusion,” which led several financial institutions to adapt product to address gender concerns and expanded outreach to female agribusiness owners. Previously, for the SEEP Network, she conducted organizational assessments of microfinance associations and MFI’s use of client protection. She has a MSc with Distinction in Gender, Development and Globalisation from the London School of Economics and Politics, and a BA in Global Studies and Economics from North Central College in the US.

Daniel Granada
Pomona Impact

Daniel Granada is a Partner at Pomona Impact, a leading Central American impact investing firm. He has over 12 years of experience helping entrepreneurs raise growth capital in Latin America.

Before joining Pomona Daniel worked at the Inter-American Development Bank, where he identified and invested in businesses that created access to basic services at the base of the socioeconomic pyramid in Central America.

Shaun Ferris
Director of Agriculture and Livelihoods
Catholic Relief Services

Shaun works with the Agricultural Livelihoods team at CRS to develop strategies that support smallholder farmers to improve their food, financial and nutritional security.

His specific responsibilities include developing marketing and training materials to build the agro-enterprise capacity of field staff and working with public and private sector agencies to develop new business models for inclusive market linkage.

Global Agriculture Coordinator

Eelco has 20 years of experience in economic development and inclusive value chain development with a focus on agricultural production and commercialization.

He held various value chain advisor positions in Cameroon, Nepal and was senior advisor for market access for the poor in Asia. He’s served as country director in Hong Kong, Vietnam and Cambodia. On behalf of Triodos Bank, he served on the board of Sathapana Ltd., a Cambodian Micro Finance Institute with a loan portfolio of more than US$ 100 million and over 60,000 clients. He holds a Master of Science in Business Administration from Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


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