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One Acre Fund (1AF) is a partner in GP’s Smallholder Farmer Inputs and Solar Lights initiatives. 1AF is a non-profit social enterprise in Eastern and Southern Africa helping smallholder farmers achieve greater food security and prosperity through a package of inputs (such as seeds and fertilizer), technical assistance, market facilitation, and access to other essential products such as solar lights.

The Challenge

Two-thirds of the population of sub-Saharan Africa is fed and employed by family farms, 95% of which are smaller than five hectares and the majority are smaller than one hectare. Limited access to information and quality agricultural inputs like improved seeds hinders production and income for these smallholder farm households. Many of these households are part of the over 570 million people in sub-Saharan Africa – more than half the region’s population – with no access to electricity.*

Who is Served

1AF serves over one million smallholder farmers in Burundi, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, the majority of whom are living in poverty. 1AF farmers primarily cultivate staple crops, such as maize and beans, and have an average farm size of about one acre.

What is Delivered

1AF provides farmers with seeds and fertilizer on credit, technical assistance throughout the growing season to help farmers maximize their yields, crop insurance, and enhanced market access through crop storage and education on market fluctuations. 1AF also offers clients affordable solar lanterns and small solar home systems that can provide electricity to off-grid households.

Why it is Impactful

1AF has a rigorous social performance management approach and conducts regular impact studies to understand client outcomes. In 2019, 1AF reported that 1AF farmers achieved on average a $96 increase in income (a 44% gain) as a result of participating in their program. A three-year study of changes in quality of life found that 1AF farmers in Kenya also experienced improvements in food security (in the form of maize surplus during the hunger season and increased food consumption), asset accumulation, and well-being.