One Acre Fund
Agriculture | Burundi, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda | Scale
The development problem: There are an estimated 500 million smallholder farms in the world, producing up to 80% of the food consumed and support up to two billion people. Of the two-thirds of sub-Saharan Africa’s population that resides in rural areas, the majority can be considered as smallholder farmers. As a group, smallholder farmers are among the most disadvantaged and vulnerable in the developing world: half of the world’s undernourished people, three-quarters of Africa’s malnourished children, and the majority of people living in absolute poverty can be found on small farms.
The innovation: One Acre Fund has developed an innovative system for testing, evaluating and scaling critical farm technologies and practices that increase the productivity and income of rural smallholder farmers across Sub-Saharan Africa. To date, One Acre Fund serves 400,000 smallholder farmers per year and is on pace to reach 1m farmers by 2020.
GIF’s investment: GIF’s investment will co-fund several key areas of One Acre Fund’s work including:
- testing and scale of new farming innovations through One Acre Fund’s extensive farmer network
- funding initiatives by One Acre Fund’s model innovation team to improve cost-effectiveness and long-term sustainability of One Acre Fund’s core model
- supporting ecosystem adoption and improvements through either government partnerships and/or private sector agribusinesses
- conducting an RCT in Kenya
Why we invested:
- One Acre Fund is a sector-leading organization with a proven track record of driving measurable impact at scale
- An opportunity to accelerate the adoption of new farming innovations by millions of GIF’s target beneficiaries leading to a potentially large social return on investment
- One Acre Fund’s commitment to utilizing evidence to drive its decision making and operations, as well as its track record of sharing its learnings and failures