How Once Acre Fund deliver life-changing farming supplies
John Ohaga manages One Acre Fund’s Africa Communications portfolio and below he shares how One Acre Fund prepare for, and deliver, life-changing farming supplies across sub-Saharan Africa.
Every year, One Acre Fund deliver millions of kilograms of planting supplies and other non-agricultural products, like solar lamps and sanitary pads, to thousands of villages in rural Sub-Saharan Africa. The success of these deliveries depends on months of careful planning.
One Acre Fund employ over 8,000 people, 6,000 of these employees are field staff who live and work in rural areas, close to the farmers. Field staff are in charge of reaching, supporting, and training the more than one million farmers that One Acre Fund serve.
When delivery season rolls around, field staff are the lynchpin for ensuring all products end up with the clients who need them – they also make it possible for life-changing products to be delivered within walking distance of farmers. “Getting our farming supplies delivered to the villages is very helpful to us. In the past, we had to pay bus fare to go to buy them in town,” said Elida Kisoma, a Tanzanian farmer.
Once Acre Fund invest tremendous resource into ensuring agricultural products arrive to their farmers at the right time. The team don’t leave anything to chance, simulating the deliveries ahead of time with what the team call ‘Delivery Boot Camps’.
Delivery Boot Camps entail two critical sessions: the first is a planning session, describing delivery scenes and procedures, mapping out foreseeable challenges, and brainstorming solutions to challenges. The second is a run-through of practical exercises, taking place in the warehouses where products are stored prior to delivery.
Members of the field team act out interactions between One Acre Fund employees and farmers, using the actual products they later will handle at the deliveries. Once the team is well practiced, it is time for the real deal - delivery season! Each country has a different delivery schedule based on when the rains come and when farmers start planting.
Throughout the year, One Acre Fund deliver 130,000 metric tons (that is the equivalent weight of about 1,300 adult blue whales, or 26,000 African bush elephants!) of planting supplies to 55 different regional warehouses, in six countries. They also deliver agricultural support products, such as grain storage bags, harvest drying sheets, as well as solar lights.
Talikisya Kivamba, a Tanzanian farmer supported by One Acre Fund, commented on the support they received from One Acre: “I have high hopes of harvesting well this season because, as my bonus for enrolling, I was trained on planting techniques that I did not know before.”
Since 2006, One Acre Fund has worked to rapidly extend the reach of its distribution system. Our organisation was founded as a response to the demand for life-saving agricultural innovations amongst Africa’s smallholder farmers and is in the early stages of building the continent’s largest network of smallholding farm families.
We are incredibly proud that we’ve been steadily growing our farmer base every year. We have directly served more than one million farmers across six countries in 2020 and have projects in place to help grow that number to five million by 2030. In some of their newer countries of operation, reach is growing. In the more established ones, like Rwanda, delivery networks are steadily approaching nationwide reach.
We are proud to partner with Virgin Unite as they support our endeavour to empower and uplift some of the continent’s most hardworking people and ensure food security for their households and communities.
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