Our model

One Acre Fund’s model is rooted in sound business practices. We supply smallholder farmers with everything they need to succeed and we are scaling up to meet the needs of more and more farm families every day for maximum impact.

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OAF model graphic

What We Offer

What do farmers need in order to grow more? First, they need quality farm products. Second, they need access to training on planting best practices and guidance on cultivating crops that are well-suited to their land. Finally, they need to store their harvest safely so their families can eat year-round, and they can sell any surplus when the prices are high.

We offer quality products and services in deeply rural areas, along with affordable and flexible payment options. As our customers, farmers choose products that make sense for their farms.

We support many staple crops, such as maize, beans and vegetables, which farm families rely on for food. We also offer commercial crops, livestock and trees, to help farmers diversify their incomes.

How We Reach Farmers

To reach as many farmers as possible, we serve farmers directly and also work with partners.

In our full-service program, we work directly with farmers throughout the year, which generally includes:

  • Providing quality farm products on credit, which farmers repay over the full growing season.
  • Delivering these products within walking distance of farmers’ homes, in time for planting.
  • Training farmers on effective agricultural practices and how to sell any harvest surplus.

By 2030, we aim to serve 10 million farmers — fully 10 percent of the families in the world living on $1 a day. In 2021, we served 3.2 million farmers, both directly with a bundle of farm services and indirectly by improving access to farm services in an entire region. 

  • In Rwanda, we co-launched a seed plant to increase the supply of domestic maize seed.
  • In Ethiopia and Malawi, we partner with governments and public sector actors to expand local tree planting.
A family in Malawi stand on the bags from their recent maize harvest

How We Grow

Guided by our mission, we employ business principles to deliver cost-effective services to millions of people. 

Scale

One Acre Fund began in 2006 with a pilot group of 38 farmers in Kenya. At the start of 2022, we served more than 3 million farmers both directly and indirectly. The more farmers we reach, the more cost-effective we are.

Efficiency

For every dollar we spend, we aim to put more income in farmers’ pockets. We call this our “social return on investment,” or SROI. In 2021, the farmers that One Acre Fund served directly produced $3.60 in new income and assets for every $1 donated.

Impact

We deliver impact as our bottom line. Farmers choose to work with us because they see growth in their crop yields and incomes. That's not a guess: We rigorously measure the value of annual harvests as well as assets built over time, and compare the incomes of One Acre Fund farmers relative to their peers. 

Trust

Our field leaders live and work in the communities they serve. Farmers trust our field staff because they are often their neighbors, and farmers themselves. As our team has grown, we've based 95% of our jobs in rural areas, creating significant new opportunities for formal employment. We serve farmers as customers, which gives them a strong voice in our operations.