One Acre Fund Expands Smallholder Farmer Services to Malawi and Uganda


One Acre Fund (OneAcreFund.org), a nonprofit agriculture organization that supplies smallholder farmers with the financing and training they need to increase their incomes and food security, announced the official opening of its Malawi and Uganda operations. Malawi and Uganda began as pilots in 2013 and 2014 respectively. One Acre Fund now serves 400,000 smallholder farmers—with an estimated two million people in those households—across East and Southern Africa.

“The majority of the world’s poor are hard-working smallholder farmerswho can reach their full potential with access to finance, training, and services,” said Andrew Youn, One Acre Fund’s founder and executive director. “I’m thrilled to announcethat One Acre Fund is now able to serve smallholder farmers in Malawi and Uganda and we will continue to grow our program until no farmer goes hungry.”

Participating farmersin the One Acre Fund program receive a complete bundle of agricultural inputs and services on credit, including the delivery of high-quality seeds and fertilizer, training on how to maximize crop yields, and education on how to minimize post-harvest losses. To accommodate clients, One Acre Fund offers a flexible repayment system: Farmers may make payments toward loans in any amount and at any time during the growing season as long as they complete repayment by the season’s end. In 2015, 99 percent of One Acre Fund farmers repaid their loans in full and on time.

One Acre Fund is currently working with 2,600 farmers in the Zomba, Mulanje, and Chiradzulu districts of Malawi and 3,700farmers in the Jinja and Kamuli districts of Uganda. Loan packages vary depending on the size of land registered; farmers may enroll as little as half an acre of land. To be eligible for a loan, farmers are required to submit a small down payment of the total loan, meet regularly with a local One Acre Fund field officer, and attend in-person agricultural trainings.

Founded in 2006 in western Kenya, One Acre Fund works with more than 400,000 smallholder farmers in Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Malawi, and Uganda, and anticipates it will serveone million farmers by 2020.

 

When One Acre Fund requested Elumuka Margaret to provide a small portion of her farm for maize planting demonstration, she was reluctant at first. Now her farm has become a centre of attraction in Busota village, Uganda, and she says she receives at least two visitors everyday interested in learning One Acre Fund's maize planting techniques. / Photo by Kelvin Owino

“This is the moment I‘ve always dreamt about—becoming the best farmer in my village. I’m very happy,” Robert Tigarya says, lifting one large cob after another from his 2015 harvest with One Acre Fund. Robert enrolled for a half-acre’s worth of hybrid maize seed and fertilizer on credit from One Acre Fund. For the first time in his farming history, Robert planted hybrid seed and used fertilizer. With his harvest, he was able to feed his family through 2015 and bought a motorcycle to start a business. / Photo by Kelvin Owino

Source: One Acre Fund


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