One Acre Fund
One Acre Fund: Planting Prosperity
Get farming families out of extreme poverty
Provide farmers the training, inputs and credit they need to make small farm plots productive
How it works
- Organize farmers into stable ten-member subgroups (“producer groups”)
- Provide an $80 loan to each farmer in the form of basic seed and fertilizer
- Bulk-purchase and deliver crop inputs to producer groups
- Train farmer groups that meet throughout the crop cycle
- Consolidate crops and sell in bulk to buyers
- Capture repayment in kind or in cash
How it will go to scale
Via NGO’s, including growing One Acre Fund to a very large organization, and perhaps governments. Donor subsidies are used to create revenue-positive operations, expand to new areas and conduct R&D that deepens impact
Progress so far
International scale up: In 2012, One Acre enrolled 135,00 farm families in Kenya, Rwanda and Burundi with an average annual farm income increase per acre of 100% ($120), and overall 98% loan repayment rates.
Visit the website
75% of the world’s poorest are farmers who have been bypassed by both the Green Revolution and the emergence of global markets.
This represents the biggest client base of poor people in the world. Seeing opportunity in disparity, Andrew Youn started One Acre Fund to pioneer a new model for investing in smallholder farmers. Rural smallholder farm families experience a season of hunger every year and One Acre Fund aims to end this food crisis by empowering farmers with the tools they need to increase the productivity of their farm. One Acre overcomes the lack of infrastructure in rural areas by providing farmers with the training, inputs, technologies, credit and access to markets they need to prosper. This cost effective model could provide a path out of poverty for millions of farmers.
A compelling problem
Over a billion people are still subsistence farming, eking out a scant living and often hungry. To find a way out of poverty, these farmers desperately need access to credit, inputs, training, and markets.
A scalable solution
Mulago assesses scalability based on five characteristics common to efforts that have taken lasting impact to scale.
Real impact: One Acre tracks changes in farm productivity with a random selection of One Acre Fund farmers, and compares them to a control group. Their model consistently triples the yield per acre, resulting in an annual increase in profit of $120+ per acre.
Cost-effective: Using the Mulago metric of additional three-year income per donor dollar, One Acre will increase 3-year farmer incomes by $360 at a total donor cost of $150, or $2.40 of additional farm income per donor dollar. As they recover more field expenses this amount is projected to exceed $4 additional income per donor dollar.
Lasting behavior: Change in behavior is driven and maintained by increased food and profits for farmers and their families.
Easy replication: One Acre Fund’s systematic model is designed for maximum efficiency at scale and is highly adaptable.
A viable route to scale: One Acre Fund is making steady progress toward complete field sustainability and their model has been successfully taken up by another organization.
Capacity to Deliver
An experienced business manager, Founder Andrew Youn has built an organization that continues to deliver at an exceptional pace and quality. In just seven years they have built the systems and field operations required to reach over 100,000 farm families in Kenya, Rwanda and Burundi and are poised to reach thousands more. Along with a superb staff, Andrew has engaged a diversified board of directors with expertise in strategy, operations and fundraising.
updated June 2013