APPROACH AND METHODOLOGY
Life-changing agricultural technologies already exist in the world--One Acre Fund's primary focus is on how to distribute these technologies in a farmer-usable way, and get farmers to permanently adopt these technologies.
One Acre Fund will follow its program model to reach additional farm families in Kenya and Rwanda by talking with farmers and discovering what they needed to succeed--a proven bottom-up approach. From past work, One Acre Fund has discovered that the individual items farmers needed to achieve a good harvest were quite common (e.g. finance for farm inputs), but the multiple barriers they faced prevented them from reaching success.
Inputs availability: Although finance is widely available through a variety of banks and microfinance institutions in East Africa, farmers could not purchase fertilizer and seed because it was not even available in their village.
Education: Even if fertilizer and seed could be obtained, farmers lacked the knowledge that would allow them to use it, often achieving a negligible lift in harvest.
Markets: Lastly, even if farmers had achieved a large harvest, they were unable to connect to markets in order to sell their excess crop at a reasonable price.
After one growing season, One Acre Fund farmers double their income per planted acre. This enables many farmers to feed their families, with a little income left over for investing in education for their children, health care, or an income-generating agriculture activity such as livestock. This service model makes it possible for One Acre Fund's clients to achieve a 100 percent increase in farm income per acre.
IMPLEMENTATION, TIMELINE, AND DELIVERABLES
One Acre Fund currently serves 25,000 farm families in Kenya and Rwanda. Through this commitment, One Acre fund will grow the number of farm families served to 300,000 by the end of 2015:
50,000 by the end of 2011
85,000 by the end of 2012
125,000 by the end of 2013
200,000 by the end of 2014
300,000 by the end of 2015.
For every farm family reached by this commitment, that family will double its farm profit (on average from approximately to ) on every planted acre.
According to the World Bank, three-fourths of the world's poor are farmers. Their profession is to grow food. However, they often use tools and techniques that have not been improved for several thousand years. To make matters worse, they have limited access to capital, which makes the purchase of essential agricultural inputs and tools impossible at critical times. As a result, their harvests fall short of what it takes to feed their families throughout the year. Most families will experience a hungry season lasting as long as half the year, during which time families will consume barely a cup of flour-water per day. As a result, malnutrition is widespread, stunting (a reduced growth rate resulting primarily from malnutrition in early childhood) is common, and, according to UNICEF, 1 in 6 children will not live to the age of 5.
One Acre Fund's farmers live in remote, rural areas with limited access to financing, education, and markets. These clients are some of the poorest people in the world: they have an average under-five child mortality rate of 14 percent and a median landholding of one acre. Most clients are women, supporting an average of five children per household, and the majority are also net food purchasers, spending up to 65 percent of their incomes purchasing food. One Acre Fund's service model allows farmers to surmount these barriers and double their incomes.
In Kenya and Rwanda, where this commitment will take place, the poorest farmers have limited access to financing, education, and markets. According to One Acre Fund's findings, in Rwanda, for example, only 2 percent were using fertilizer on their whole field, and only an additional three percent were using any kind of fertilizer at all. In Western Province, Kenya, 9 percent were using seed and fertilizer on their entire field, while an additional 45 percent were using some amount of seed and/or fertilizer at all. In Nyanza Province, 3 percent were using seed and fertilizer on their entire field, with an additional 5 percent were using some amount of seed and fertilizer at all. One Acre Fund's service model in these areas will allow additional farmers to surmount these barriers and double their incomes.
While One Acre Fund's field activities are increasingly financially sustainable, they still require donor support to fund research and development, new country scouting and launches, and to cover field costs that are not paid for by field revenues. New funding partners are always welcome!