A brief insight into the key factors that drove impact in 2015 and 2016.
|2015 ($ gain in farm profit)||2016 ($ gain in farm profit)||2017 (Preliminary $ gain in farm profit)||2015 (% gain in farm profit)||2016 (% gain in farm profit)||2017 (Preliminary % gain in farm profit)|
|Weighted Program Average||$156||$135||$171||52%||67%||65%|
* As full-scale operations only launched in Malawi and Uganda in 2016, there are no comparable figures for 2015.
Our Kenya operations support farmers growing maize and beans over one long season per year, and we also offer a range of add-on products such as solar lights, vegetable seeds, improved crop storage bags, cook stoves, and sanitary pads.
Similar to years past, Kenya had the highest dollar impact of any country in 2016 at $125 of profit gained per farmer, driven by our robust offering of add-on products in the country and our long experience working there. Kenya is our founding country of operation, having launched in 2006.
Dollar impact, a measure of One Acre Fund farmer profits relative to similarly situated neighboring farmers, decreased quite substantially between 2015 and 2016. This was largely driven by a severe drought, which contributed to an overall decline in maize harvests in the region of about 30 percent. Because the drought affected One Acre Fund farmers as well as their neighbors, the percent profit improvement remained fairly strong at 51% relative to controls. In short, all Kenyan farmers saw a sizeable reduction in profits, but One Acre Fund farmers still greatly outperformed their neighbors.
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 coffee fertilizer. In addition, in 2016 we delivered more than 1.8 million grevillea tree seedlings to farmers, which promise to improve soil, prevent erosion, and provide timber.
In 2016, we added an additional $58 in agricultural profit on average over the two growing seasons from our core program. Add-on products, such as trees and solar lamps, added another $15 to our average impact, bringing the total to $73 of impact on average per participating farmer. Even this modest amount represents a 53% improvement in profits relative to a comparison group.
It is increasingly difficult for us to achieve high dollar impacts for One Acre Fund farmers relative to comparison farmers in Rwanda because non-One Acre Fund farmers have improved access to both training and inputs through a national farmer extension program and a government program to increase access to inputs. One Acre Fund is involved in supporting both of these programs in partnership with the government. While this represents a measurement challenge, we view this overall as great news for farmers nationwide.
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 2016, we added $96.50 in agricultural profit on average over the two seasons, which was very similar to our impact in 2015. Because Burundian farmers dedicate a smaller percentage of their land to maize and have different climate and weather conditions than that of maize-predominant countries (e.g. Kenya and Tanzania), they were not affected in the same way by weather conditions in 2016.
Add-on products, such as trees and solar lamps, added another $4 per farmer on average, bringing the total to $100 of profit impact. Impacts from add-on products are relatively small in Burundi because Burundians generally spend less on energy than other countries, so it takes them longer to realize the returns from investing in a solar lamp, and typical adoption of non-agricultural products is relatively low. Still, together this represents a 73% improvement in profits relative to a comparison group.
Our Tanzania program supports farmers growing maize during one long season per year, and also offers solar lights on credit.
In 2016, we added $68 in agricultural profit per farmer on average over the course of the season. Despite being a maize-predominant country hit by a seasonal drought, Tanzania impact remained similar to that of 2015. This was because of an organizational focus on improving harvests on the vast amounts of land farmers cultivate but were not typically applying One Acre Fund inputs on, as well as due to the lowering of program costs. Add-on products such as solar lamps added another $18 to our average impact, bringing the total to $86. Solar lights have a relatively high per-adopter impact because energy costs, and therefore savings, are higher in Tanzania than in other countries. Altogether this represents a 26% improvement in profits relative to a comparison group.
The Uganda program was officially launched in 2016 and served more than 3,700 farmers, offering fertilizer and seed to those growing maize, as well as solar lights and grain storage bags. The Uganda program struggled with the triple threat of striga weed, poor rains, and poor seed germination. Farmers who experienced poor seed germination were given extra seeds to plant in the short rains season, and our impact estimates do not yet reflect that. Despite these difficulties, Uganda measured a farmer impact of $59 per farmer, $10 of which came from add-on products, and saw a 96% improvement in farmer profit, nearly double relative to non-participating farmers. This large percentage improvement was partly because Ugandan farmers overall had such low harvests last year and because the access to One Acre Fund inputs allowed program farmers to plant more land than comparison farmers.
The Malawi program was also officially launched in 2016 and served more than 2,600 farmers across three districts providing fertilizer, seed, and training to farmers growing maize, as well as solar lights. As was the case in all of One Acre Fund’s maize-predominant countries, Malawi suffered with major weather challenges in 2016, including both drought and flooding in certain areas. Despite this, One Acre Fund farmers earned an extra $77 in profit relative to their neighbors, with $11 of this coming from solar light adoption. This represented a 65% improvement over neighbors’ profits.
Country Detail Reports
For further detailed information, please view our the impact reports below: