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  • Awarded: 2010
  • Issue Areas: Economic Opportunity · Financial Services · Livelihoods · Smallholder Productivity
  • Countries Served: Burundi · Kenya · Rwanda
  • Web:
  • About the Organization

    Farming is the dominant economic activity of the world’s poor. One Acre Fund makes that activity significantly more productive.

    One Acre Fund supplies smallholder farmers with the tools and financing they need to grow their way out of hunger and poverty. Instead of giving handouts, they invest in farmers to generate permanent gains in farm income.

    One Acre Fund supplies a complete service bundle of seeds and fertilizer, financing, training, and market facilitation – and they deliver these services within walking distance of the hundreds of thousands of rural farmers they serve.

    One Acre Fund began in East Africa, and they currently work in Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania. They’ve served more than 300,000 farmers, helping them grow their income by an average of US$135 per year.

    By 2020, One Acre Fund will serve at least one million farm families, representing more than five million people. And these farmers will produce enough surplus food to feed another five million of their neighbors.

    Subsistence farmers in Africa struggle to get by when planting season means scarcity of seeds and fertilizer, and harvest season brings glutted local markets and low prices.

    One Acre Fund systems enable farmers to get credit to acquire seeds and fertilizer, learn better farm practices, and sell at a good price.

    Andrew Youn seeks to eradicate hunger among smallholder families in sub-Saharan Africa

    Each acre managed in the program produces an additional 1,000 pounds of food, or 2,000 person-meals, each year.

    Ambition for Change

    Eradicate hunger among smallholder families in sub-Saharan Africa by supplying farm inputs, training, and access to markets that enable farmers to increase production and income.

    Path to Scale

    Program Expansion
    Program services delivered by local farmers hired as field staff, and supported by national networks of distribution and marketing points. Increased income enables farmers to repay loans and purchase future supplies and service.

    Business Model

    Marketing and distribution networks for farm inputs and products; microcredit for farm inputs

    Few challenges have faced more analysis and led to the creation of more well-meaning programs than subsistence agriculture in Africa. Andrew Youn’s innovation was to start from the perspective of a single farmer, designing a solution enabling her to join a buying group and get credit to acquire seeds and fertilizer, learn better farm practices, grow enough to feed her family and sell her surplus at a good price through a marketing point within walking distance of her home. She doubles her income and can send her children to school and take care of the family’s health. By 2010, One Acre Fund had established marketing and distribution networks in Kenya, Rwanda, and Burundi. and served 32,000 farm families cultivating 17,600 acres These families doubled their income and repaid loans for farm inputs.

    Impact & Accomplishments

    • One Acre Fund expanded to a fourth country, Tanzania, in 2013, and had served more than 280,000 farm families by 2015. Each acre managed in the program produces an additional 1,000 pounds of food, or 2,000 person-meals, each year.
    • The program reduces infant mortality (birth to age 2) by half in areas of operation.
    • Crop diversification has been added to the program to promote better nutrition and resilience in the face of setbacks like the maize virus that struck Kenya in 2013.
    • One Acre Fund is working to expand partnerships with governments open to replicating and expanding programs based on its model, reforming agricultural systems at national scale.


    Andrew YounFounder and Director, One Acre Fund
    Matthew FortiManaging Director, One Acre Fund

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