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Country Detail

A brief insight into the key factors that drove impact in 2020.

2017 ($ gain in farmer income) 2017 (% gain in farmer income) 2018 ($ gain in farmer income) 2018 (% gain in farmer income) 2019 ($ gain in farmer income) 2019 (% gain in farmer income) 2020 ($ gain in farmer income) 2020 (% gain in farmer income)
Kenya $158 40% $90 32% $102 43% $71 24%
Rwanda $139 144% $124 70% $118 81% $102 49%
Burundi $72 39% $78 57% $34 27% $75 54%
Tanzania $218 63% $17 16% $58 9% $51 17%
Uganda* $59 48% $23 47% $19 27% $24 28%
Malawi* $35 36% $7 35% $15 13% $24 12%
Weighted Program Average $140 53% $91 42% $96 44% $81 33%
*Farm income includes annual + asset impact. Please visit the Our Impact and Methodology pages for more detail on how we measure and calculate impact. Rosemary Naliake, smallholder farmer from Chwele, Kenya Rosemary Naliake in Bungoma county in Western Kenya.

Kenya

Our Kenya operations support farmers to profitably grow maize and beans over one long season each year, between March and October. We also offer a range of add-on products like solar lights, trees, vegetable seeds, improved crop storage bags, and cookstoves.

In 2020, we created an additional $58 in annual agricultural profit on average for the farmers we served. Add-on products (such as trees, kale, and cook stoves) added another $13 of impact. Overall, this represents a 24% improvement in profits relative to a comparison group. In an effort to reach as many farmers as possible, we allowed farmers to join the program even if they did not sign up for our maize package, which is our most profitable offering. While this lowered our total average impact by about $17, it meant that we could reach a larger range of farmers in Kenya, serving nearly 500,000.

Rwanda

The Rwanda program, our second-oldest, supports farmers growing a wide range of crops, notably maize, climbing beans, bush beans, potatoes, and rice, over two growing seasons per year. We also offer a range of add-on products, such as solar lights and cookstoves. Additionally, we run an active agroforestry program, which is critical for improving soil, preventing erosion, and building long-term assets such as timber when the trees eventually mature.

In 2020, we added $78 in agricultural profit over the two growing seasons from our full-service bundle. Add-on products (trees and storage bags) created another $24 of impact. Cumulatively, this $102 of impact represents a 49% improvement in profits relative to a comparison group — Rwanda achieves higher percent improvements than many other countries because the country’s baseline profit is relatively low.

Marie Gorreth Nijimberb winnows beans in Burundi Marie Gorreth Nijimberb sifts through her beans using a flat basket in Muramvya, Burundi.

Burundi

Our Burundi program supports farmers growing maize, beans, and potatoes over two growing seasons per year, and also offers solar lights, trees, and grain storage bags on credit.

In 2020, we added an average of $35 in agricultural profit over two seasons. We further estimated that add-on products (trees and solar lamps) added another $41 per farmer on average, most of which came from our tree program. Altogether, this represents a 54% improvement in profits relative to a comparison group. Given the depth of poverty in Burundi, a $76 improvement in profits has large implications for farmers’ material well-being.

Jimmy Nziku and Suzana Chavargino with their solar lamps Tanzanian farmers Suzana Chavargino and Jimmy Nziku with two solar lights they purchased from One Acre Fund on credit in 2014.

Tanzania

Our Tanzania program supports farmers growing maize over one long season per year and also offers add-on products such as solar lights and improved storage bags on credit. In 2018, we began offering fertilizer and training for multiple common crops such as potato, sunflowers, beans, and tomatoes to mention a few.

In 2020, we estimate that we added an average of $47 in agricultural impact and another $4 in asset impact from maize storage bags and trees. We experienced data collection challenges in Tanzania this year due to Covid, and this estimate relies on self-reported harvest yields rather than physically weighed harvest yields. Still, our approximations tally with our 2019 findings, which relied on physical harvest measurements, and so we believe that our 2020 estimates are broadly reliable. 

To reduce impact volatility from an over-reliance on maize, Tanzanian farmers get targeted fertilizer options and training on nine additional common crops. In addition, an avocado tree program holds the promise of a high return on investment for farmers who adopt that product. Altogether, these efforts promise to reduce vulnerability to price fluctuations on any one crop while also allowing for improved farmer nutrition, reduced pest, and disease load, and increased soil health.

Uganda

The Uganda program was officially launched in 2016 and offers fertilizer and seed to those growing maize as well as add-on products such as solar lights, improved crop storage bags, and cookstoves.

In some respects, Uganda is one of our most successful programs, with massive increases in yields, and 2020 was no exception: we improved yields by 74% for One Acre Fund farmers — compared to non-one Acre Fund farmers. However, farmers in our program areas in Uganda do not typically use improved seeds and fertilizer, so the program is relatively expensive (compared to what farmers would otherwise do). Therefore, despite nearly doubling yields, we measured only a modest improvement of $20 in agricultural profit and $4 in add-on asset profit (e.g. from cookstoves and solar lights). We are continuing to iterate to find a program model that is attractive to farmers and has a high return on their investment. In the upcoming season, we will offer a more diverse and flexible catalog of products including trees, beans, groundnuts, and bananas.

Constance Sakala and Mary Bomani of One Acre Fund Malawi

Malawi

The Malawi program, officially launched in 2017, provides fertilizer, seed, and training to farmers growing maize, with solar lights as an add-on.

In 2020, access to fertilizer appears to have improved for the Malawian farmers in our program areas. This was a positive development, and 2020 saw healthy harvest yields possibly as a result of this intervention. Even in this improved agricultural landscape, Malawian One Acre Fund farmers improved their program yields by an impressive 45% compared to non-participating farmers. While this represents a reduction of harvest improvement compared to prior years, that performance was still a significant food security driver. When we monetize this harvest improvement, we find that the average One Acre Fund farmer gained an additional $22 in agricultural profit relative to non-participating farmers and another $2 from trees. In the 2021 season, the Malawi team will explore opportunities to connect smallholder farmers to commercial markets, and support them in diversifying to other crops that they can plant.

Ethiopia

In Ethiopia, One Acre Fund supports farmers in improving their incomes through agroforestry programs and improved seed production. Our tree program partners with local nursery entrepreneurs, typically smallholder farmers, who we train and support to produce and sell an average of 40,000 seedlings each per year. We also work to impart tree knowledge and develop business skills to enable them to run successful agroforestry enterprises.

For seed, we help cooperatives to set up as certified seed multipliers, offer trainings to farmers to support them in improving production and quality, provide field support through extension services, facilitate research into agricultural products, and provide market facilitation and support. In 2020, we served more than 65,000 farmers, and plan to reach 500,000 in the next five years.


Country Detail Reports

For further detailed information, please view the impact reports below:


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