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One Acre Fund

  • LocationsBurundi, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda
  • SectorAgriculture and Livelihoods
  • Type of investmentGrant
  • Project stageScale

A $15m grant to drive smallholder farmer income improvements through accelerating One Acre Fund’s testing and scale up of new farming innovations.

One Acre Fund

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

Investment objective(s).

Drive improvements to the agricultural systems of entire countries by (a) conducting systematic and rigorous investigation to discover "what works" in each country, (b) create initial scale through core farmers who serve as a "market anchor," and then (c) drive rest-of-system adoption for critical farm technologies and practices.

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.

Click here to read One Acre Fund’s Impact Brief.

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