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Culture Code - Think like a Business

Guided by our mission, we use the discipline of a business to deliver cost-effective services to millions of people.
Culture and Values

Our Culture Code is our shared vision of our ideal culture at One Acre Fund.

What is culture? It’s the way we act when we’re at our best. It should reflect our values (the big beliefs that anchor everything we do as an organization). But our culture is more personal. It captures how we each strive to act. It’s the daily behaviours that matter the most—and make us uniquely us. This is our culture.

This is the One Acre Fund Way.

Our business is improving the lives of our customers. Guided by our mission, we use the discipline of a business to deliver cost-effective services to millions of people. We believe that heart plus rigor can change the world.

  • We aim to scale because each new client is a farmer who matters. Each year, we ensure more and more families access life-improving farm services.
  • We spend resources efficiently, putting every dollar towards what’s best for farmers. We always ask ourselves: How can we use our resources to do the most good?
  • We deliver impact as our bottom line. Farmers invest their hard-earned money with us. We multiply it into more crops in their fields and income in their pockets.


At the start of 2018, our Kenya program was already our largest, serving hundreds of thousands of farm families. Instead of resting on that success, we challenged ourselves to grow by 50% that year, which was both exciting and nerve-wracking.

We were nervous because adding 100,000 farmers is no small feat: we have just a few week window to get every single customer their seed and supplies in time for planting. At the same time, the challenge was exciting: each new customer is a person who deserves an opportunity to improve their farms and feed their families.

As our customers signed up that season, our team gathered around to reveal the results: we had grown by 55%, exceeding our most ambitious targets! The team broke out in cheers, savoring the moment - and knowing we’d do it all again next year.

Here, our Kenya team reveals the final number of enrolled farmers for our 2018 season.


We don’t rest until every single part of our program delivers the most possible impact for farmers.

In 2012, we decided to offer our first non-food crop: grevillea trees, which both generate income for farmers and improve the environment. Optimistic, we trained Kenyan farmers to plant the seeds in compost and transplant the seedlings to their farms. But, despite extensive trials, many seedlings died during transplanting.

Undaunted, we went back to the drawing board and spent another year testing new ways to keep the young tree seedlings alive. In 2015, we added a new transplanting step to protect the seedlings from shock, increasing the survival rate by 50%.

This slight tweak in planting practice made a huge impact: today, One Acre Fund farmers have planted more than 45 million trees across eight different countries!

Control vs Intervention Trees


At the beginning of each season, hundreds of One Acre Fund field officers fan out to rural villages, signing up thousands of farmers interested in our services.

For years, this was done by hand, where field officers spent an hour with each group of farmers filling our paper contracts. These stacks of paper went to the office for two to three weeks of manual database entry - or longer for the inevitable paper errors.

Between 2014 and 2016, we worked to digitize this process, equipping field officers with tablets and designing an app accessible to rural users. We tested everything from tablet battery life (few homes are electrified), to icons (nobody recognised the “trash” icon), to digital signatures (farmers often sign with thumbprints).

With tablets, enrolling farmers now just takes about 15 minutes per farmer group and the data is instantly sent to the database with zero errors. We’re scaling up to tablets first in Kenya, Rwanda and Malawi, and to all countries in the coming years.

OAF Kenya - Field Officer using a tablet to register a farmer