2017 was a milestone year for One Acre Fund -- for the first time ever, we directly served more than 500,000 smallholder farmers in Eastern and Southern Africa. We’re well on track to meet our goal of reaching over 1 million farming families by 2020, but we know there’s still a lot of work to be done. Below are some of the highlights from the past year, as we focused on creating big harvests, healthy families, and rich soils.
One Acre Fund farmers are excited about trees, and we continued to increase tree distribution in 2017. In Rwanda, we nearly doubled the size of our agroforestry program, distributing 3 million seedlings to farming households across the country as part of our “One Thousand Hills, Three Million Trees” campaign. Trees provide both environmental and financial benefits to farmers -- they can improve soil health, help prevent erosion and capture carbon, and their value increases exponentially as they grow, so that after a few years they can be cut and sold as income.
Many farmers saw their harvests rebound in 2017 from the prior year’s drought, but others had to contend with new challenges brought by fall armyworms. One Acre Fund quickly mobilized, rolling out trainings and products to combat this invasive pest.
We are grateful to all our funding partners, including new 2017 supporters, the Global Innovation Fund (GIF) and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF). GIF is to helping to build tailored, regional solutions for smallholders to increase food production. CIFF is supporting work to improve farming families’ nutrition.
Eye on Nutrition
We’re conducting several nutrition trials to help improve health outcomes for farmers and their families. In Kenya, this includes trials on nutrition supplements, sanitation products, and high-protein foods like eggs.