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We carefully select charities which will have the most impact and benefit.
To find out more about how our members have helped to fund One Acre's activities, and the incredible work that they do, read on below.
CAUSES SUPPORTED: Food & Water Resources
“One Acre Fund is an agricultural service provider that supports Africa's smallholder farmers to build resilient communities.”
Where they work
Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Uganda, Ethiopia
Theory of change
“One Acre Fund supplies smallholder farmers with everything they need to grow their way out of poverty. Simple interventions like providing access to naturally-produced hybrid seed, quality fertilizer, and training on farming best practices can have a dramatic impact. They allow farmers — most of whom are women — to feed their families and communities, improve their nutrition and increase their incomes.”
What they do
One Acre Fund supplies smallholder African farmers with resources in the following capacities:
Farm supplies: “Across our operations, we provide farmers with optimal seed varieties based on local climates. We test and offer new varieties for maximum yields and higher resilience to extreme weather, pests, and diseases…Beyond seeds, we also provide quality fertilizer and encourage microdosing — applying small quantities of fertilizer close to the seed or plant — for the most efficient use possible. Then we supply everything farmers need through the full planting cycle, including farming tools, and harvest products.”
Training: “One Acre Fund’s team of field officers provides expert, tailored training directly to farmers throughout the year. This includes training on land preparation, planting technique, weeding, top-dress fertilizer application, pest and disease management, harvesting and drying, crop storage and processing, composting, and tree planting.”
Financing and insurance: “We offer a range of services that support farmers to maximize their harvests, protect them from catastrophic events, and help them increase their profits. This starts with the financing they need to get started, including the direct procurement and delivery of farm inputs on credit. One Acre Fund is also one of the largest purchasers of farm input insurance on behalf of smallholders in Africa. If extreme weather damages harvests, partial loan forgiveness provides a critical safety net to protect families from financial disaster. Input insurance also increases farmers' confidence to invest in new approaches and experiment with less familiar planting methods.”
Innovation: “One Acre Fund takes a research-based approach to bringing technology to smallholder farmers, putting a team of scientists to work on maximizing impact for our clients. Our farmers can use mobile phones to make loan repayments, sign up for products and services, view trainings, and more…Besides technical advancements, we have a continuous pipeline of trials for new farmer-facing techniques and products to increase harvests and diversify income sources. This includes irrigation, livestock, tree-planting, high margin crops like avocados, and more.”
Last-mile delivery: “One Acre Fund specializes in the last mile of delivery that is so crucial to ensuring the hardest to reach people still get access to life’s necessities. We distribute seeds and supplies within walking distance of farmers' homes, delivering at just the right time so that farmers are able to get their crops in the ground at the right moment.”
Trees: “One Acre Fund offers a comprehensive tree package that supplements seasonal harvests to bolster farmers' livelihoods, not only directly through increased income, but also through co-benefits like improved soil health. When planted alongside crops, most varieties of trees contribute significantly to soil health by controlling erosion, improving the soil’s ability to absorb water, and maintaining a high level of organic matter, as well as fixing nitrogen.”
Several independent evaluations of One Acre Fund have had the following conclusions:
2019-2020 RCT in Kericho and Uasin Gishu districts, Kenya on tree-planting program: “One-year after program participation, 1AF farmers were growing 7.5 additional grevillea trees (relative to control farmers); with high statistical significance (p<.001)...One Acre Fund believes the high (financial) impact found in this study and internal results, combined with the material environmental benefits of tree-planting (not captured in this study), demonstrate the value of tree-planting as an asset-building product for the rural poor.”
2017 RCT in Teso district, Kenya on maize and bean farming: “Highly statistically significant impact on both harvests and yields, with One Acre Fund farmers harvesting an additional 274 kg of maize per farmer. Highly statistically and economically significant profit impact on maize ($62 and an 18.5% improvement).”
2014-2015 Diff-in-diff across Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi on maize and bean farming: “Found both: (1) highly statistically significant impacts (p<.01) of the One Acre Fund program on yields in all three countries; and (2) high consistency with our routine internal M&E over the same period.”
2014 RCT in Busia district, Kenya on maize yields: “The study found results (32% yield improvement, which One Acre Fund converted to a 31% or $91 profit improvement) that were consistent (actually slightly higher) than our routine internal M&E that year Kenya-wide.”
2009 RCT in Chwele district, Kenya on maize yields: “Found a 40% (or $30) maize profit improvement from the One Acre Fund program.”
One Acre Fund also uses rigorous evaluations to internally measure impact and effectiveness:
One Acre Fund conducts 10,000 physical harvest measurements per year for a group of farmers enrolled in One Acre Fund and a comparable comparison group of non-One Acre Fund farmers from the same villages who are subject to the same agro-ecological conditions. “This broad sample enables us to cover every country of operation, nearly every crop, and to understand the differential performance of our operating units within countries.”
One Acre Fund also periodically uses RCTs and difference-in-difference estimates in assessing their operations. Their past results have been as follows:
2021 impact: served 3.2 million farmers who generated $210 million in profits
ROI = $2.70 new farm profits created for every $1 of donor investment
Historical trends of One Acre Fund’s work:
Farmers increase their farm income by 40%+ per year—from the same plot of land—and produce a surplus for the first time.
Farmers are more likely to have a steady supply of food all year. They also grow and buy more nutritious food for their families, like beans, fruit, vegetables, and eggs.
Farmers are more likely to enrich their soils with compost and to plant trees alongside their crops
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