The Company started its activity in 2006 in Rwanda and Kenya. It offers a market-based solution for transforming smallholder agriculture, delivering life-changing technologies directly to rural farm families. Since its inception, One Acre Fund (OAF) has emerged as one of the most respected and cost-effective actors in the fight against global hunger and extreme poverty.
Its innovative “market bundle” of goods and services consists of:
- Farm inputs (physical capital): OAF delivers seed, fertilizer, solar technology, and other productive goods directly to smallholder farmers
- Credit (financial capital): all goods and services are sold on credit
- Education (human capital): OAF trains farmers on how to use these technologies
- Markets (trade): OAF assists farmers with post-harvest storage
OAF gets paid by the farmers at the end of the harvest period.
Although there are many agricultural programs in the world, what makes OAF’s program unique is the complete bundle of services that they provide.
Seventy percent of Africa’s poor are rural farm families which are usually trapped in a permanent state of subsistence-level farming. They face restrictive low farm yields, consuming everything they grow, and still facing usually periods of hunger.
In rural East Africa, 10% of children do not survive to the age of five, with more than half of deaths related to malnutrition. Smallholder farming is the dominant livelihood of the rural poor, yet most farm families are unable to access the tools they need to increase their farm yields and escape cyclical poverty. Improving this single livelihood (farming) offers the greatest opportunity to end extreme hunger in our lifetimes.
OAF’s bundle is highly productive for its customers. OAF sells goods on credit instead of giving out cash loans to its clients. For each family they serve, OAF historically has unlocked an average income increase of 50% on supported activities.
OAF routinely measures how much income their customers generate from OAF’s program, and have historically seen a positive “customer ROI (return on investment)”. For example, across their countries in 2018, they estimate that farmers on average generated more than USD 1.20 in incremental, bottom-line profit for every USD 1 of goods they purchase from OAF.