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2020: Seeding Resilience

Annual report
In 2020, we served more than 1.3 million farmers in six countries, registering a 33% growth despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. We ensured that farmers could continue farming by advocating to have agriculture designated as an “essential business.”

Building farmer resilience means working to realize big harvests and helping farmers to absorb stresses to their livelihoods, like the pandemic. While farmers could still plant, many lost secondary revenue streams, like access to selling at fresh produce markets. So we took steps like ramping up our tree-planting efforts, which both build farmer assets (a tree grows in value over time) and mitigate climate change. In 2020, farmers planted 24 million trees as part of our campaign to plant 1 billion trees across Sub-Saharan Africa over the next 15 years. For our organization, resilience means intentionally building the team and culture to guide us in our next growth phase. We renewed our focus on building a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace where all 8,000 staff can thrive. This included committing to restructuring our seniormost leadership team to ensure at least 50 percent African membership and broader representation of the communities we serve. While this is just the first of many improvements, we believe that change starts at the top.