As a 49-year old widow and caretaker of four, Rwandan farmer Beatrice Musabyimana knew her harvests were essential to her family’s wellbeing. She planted large plots of beans and maize with smaller sections of sweet potatoes, cassava, and bananas. But what she ended up with at harvest time was never enough to feed her family.
Like Beatrice, seventy-five percent of the world’s poor depend on farming for their livelihood. Yet most of these farmers live in remote areas of the world, and do not have access to basic agricultural tools and training. As a result, they struggle to grow enough to feed their families and face an annual ‘hunger season’ of meal-skipping and substitution. In rural East Africa, 10% of children die before the age of five.
Meet One Acre Fund
Founded in 2006, One Acre Fund provides a solution for farmers like Beatrice. Farmers in One Acre Fund programs receive a complete ‘market bundle’ of services, including: 1) high-quality farm inputs (improved seed and fertilizer), 2) financing, 3) weekly in-field trainings, and 4) post-harvest and market support. Together, this innovative combination of services enables farmers to roughly double their farm income, which they then invest productively: in school fees for their children, in productive assets such as livestock, and in improved housing for their families.
Beatrice joined One Acre Fund in 2010. “My harvest that first year with One Acre Fund was better than I ever could have imagined,” Beatrice says. For the first time in her life, she was able to feed her family for the entire year and even sell off a portion of her harvest.
After her next harvest, Beatrice sold some of her beans and purchased a young cow, which later gave birth to a calf. After a few years, Beatrice was able to sell the then-mature cow and use the money to buy a small portion of additional land. Beatrice now owns two young bulls and has plans to sell them to purchase additional land, the next step in Beatrice’s long-term plan for expanding her farming business and creating a permanent path out of poverty for her family.
One Acre Fund currently serves 180,000 farmers like Beatrice in Rwanda, Kenya, Burundi and Tanzania, but there are millions more who could benefit from our program.
To reach them, we need your help.
- $20 enrolls a child in our health program for one year, allowing access to de-worming pills, immunizations, and malaria nets
- $50 enables a farmer to plant 100 trees through our farm forest program
- $100 enables a farmer in our program to grow 10,000 meals for her family over the course of a year
- $240 enables two farm families to double their farm income per acre
Together, we can fundamentally alter the trajectory of hunger and poverty in sub-Saharan Africa.