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Our Impact

At One Acre Fund, impact is our North Star. We always seek to generate positive impact in the lives of smallholder farmers, and rigorous measurement is the only way to know if we are heading in the right direction.

Impact Dashboard

2016 Actual 2017 Actual 2018 Actual 2019 Projected

Scale

Farm families served
445,630 614,800 809,800 925,000

Each farm family counted received credit, delivery, training, and market facilitation support for at least one technology in our portfolio.

Scale

Full-time staff (95% rural jobs created)
5,400 6,600 7,300 8,240

One Acre Fund provides high-quality, full-time employment in rural areas. The vast majority of One Acre Fund’s staff are farmers. Through professional feedback and leadership development programs, staff advance their careers into meaningful management roles.

Impact***

$ gain in farmer income (annual + asset impact)
$114 $140 $91**** $115 ****

Each season, we physically weigh harvests and compare the farm profits of a random set of One Acre Fund farmers to a random set of either “likely-to-enroll” or “newly enrolled” farmers, thus forming a highly similar comparison group. Please visit our Methodology section for more information. One Acre Fund measures impact on both annual products (where impact is equivalent to the cash farmers receive from their crops) and asset products such as trees and solar lights (where impact is equivalent to the net present value from purchasing this product in the current year).

Dollar ($ USD) gain in farmer income is calculated as the differential profits of One Acre Fund and comparison group farmers on the products and services we offer (including core agriculture products and “add-on” products such as solar lights). Given the volatility of agricultural yields for single-year crops due to impediments such as pests and weather patterns, we are increasingly leveraging rolling average absolute ($) impact to assess our results for farmers across time periods, while leveraging single-year impact to inform insights and improvements in a given year.

Percent (%) gain in farmer income is measured the same way, but looks at the % difference in profits; it is not a percentage gain in total household income. We target a 50% gain per year, but outside factors such as weather and crop diseases cause some annual fluctuation.

Please visit our Country Detail section or view our Performance Reports for significantly more detail.

Impact***

% gain in farmer income (annual + asset impact)
56% 53% 42% 50%+

Each season, we physically weigh harvests and compare the farm profits of a random set of One Acre Fund farmers to a random set of either “likely-to-enroll” or “newly enrolled” farmers, thus forming a highly similar comparison group. Please visit our Methodology section for more detail. One Acre Fund measures impact on both annual products (where impact is equivalent to the cash farmers receive from their crops) and asset products such as trees and solar lights (where impact is equivalent to the net present value from purchasing this product in the current year).

Percent (%) gain in farmer income is calculated as the % differential profits of One Acre Fund and comparison group farmers on the products and services we offer (including core agriculture products and “add-on” products such as solar lights); it is not a percentage gain in total household income. We target a 50% gain per year, but outside factors such as weather and crop diseases cause some annual fluctuation. Given the volatility of agricultural yields for single-year crops due to impediments such as pests and weather patterns, we are increasingly leveraging rolling average relative (%) impact to assess our results for farmers across time periods, while leveraging single-year impact to inform insights and improvements in a given year.

Please visit our Country Detail section or view our Performance Reports for significantly more detail.

Sustainability

% loan repayment
99% 98% 97% 97%

Repayment gauges farmer satisfaction. If farmers are dissatisfied with our services, they can opt out of our program by not repaying their loan. (If a farmer group does not collectively repay its outstanding credit, none of the individual members will be eligible to re-enroll in One Acre Fund the following season.)

We work hard to ensure consistently high-quality service, and hence consistently high repayment rates. 

Sustainability

% field sustainability
73%* 69%** 72% 74%

One Acre Fund field expenses include farm inputs and logistics, local field staff compensation and training, in-country headquarters and office-related costs, and an appropriate allocation of international staff who support delivery of our core program. Also included are the financial results of our agrodealer program. Not included are donor-funded R&D expenses (new country scouting, product innovation, infrastructure innovation, etc.), since these expenditures do not benefit existing farmers in the year incurred. Please view our Financial Reports for a full accounting. 

In 2015, 78% of field costs were covered by farmer repayments. We aim to steadily increase this number through growth in revenue per farmer (more land enrolled, new products offered) and cost efficiencies (higher ratio of farmers to field staff, purchasing economies on farm inputs). See our Driving Financial Sustainability white paper for more information.

  • ** Financial sustainability declined largely as a result of external shocks, especially input pricing and export regulations which hurt gross margin in key countries.
  • *** Annual impact represents the monetized value of extra crop harvests farmers realize from participating in the One Acre Fund program; NPV asset impact represents the net present value (NPV) of extra profits realized over the life of multi-year products, such as trees and solar lights - meaning we book all impact for these products in the year of product distribution rather than in equal parts over the life of the product. One Acre Fund made this change in 2017, reflecting our greater confidence in estimating lifetime costs and benefits given our 5+ years offering and valuing these products, plus the wide use of NPV to evaluate multi-year investment opportunities. This shift increases our reported results from prior years; correspondingly, we increased future targets and have begun reporting annual and asset impacts separately in our annual reports.
  • **** In 2018, low maize prices and erratic weather led to absolute ($) impact falling below previous years. While we still achieved strong relative (%) impact, 2018 highlighted the volatility of agriculture given how susceptible single-year harvests are to pests, weather patterns, and market prices. This underscores the need to not only improve farmers’ single-year impact, but overall resilience. We have adopted a more conservative absolute impact ($) target for 2019, given the ongoing threat of drought and market price volatility. While single-year impact is undoubtedly important, particularly for internal decision-making and improvements, we also look at our impact on a rolling basis to assess our results across time-periods.
  • * Financial sustainability dipped due to drought conditions in many operating areas, especially Kenya, and inclusion of two new countries (Uganda and Malawi).

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