How One Acre Fund is helping farmers combat food insecurity

One Acre Fund
One Acre Fund
Angela Palmer
by Angela Palmer
1 August 2022
One Acre Fund is a non-profit organisation supporting smallholder farmers in rural Sub-Saharan Africa.

One Acre Fund deliver farming supplies and provide training and financing to millions of farmers across thousands of villages in Africa.

Virgin Unite has been a proud supporter of One Acre Fund for over six years – in part through its investment in One Acre Fund's Audacious Project ‘Big Idea’ (with a goal of reaching one third of all African smallholder farmers by 2030).

The recent succession of devastating global events has had a significant impact on One Acre Fund’s work and its ability to support small holder farmers. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues to threaten global wheat supply, resulting in many Africans finding themselves in the midst of a food security crisis.

This, along with COVID-related supply chain issues, climate change, and local conflicts, have created devastation in many East African countries. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, “The most recent estimates show that 281.9 million people on the continent, over one-fifth of the population, faced hunger in 2020”.

One Acre Fund
One Acre Fund

To meet this challenge and support as many African farmers as possible, One Acre Fund is scaling up its technologies and working alongside governments on newly developed, nation-wide programmes. The team is working to negotiate better prices with suppliers of farming inputs, so to optimise supply chains and has also introduced reduced fertiliser recommendations, and sustainable alternatives, to combat the local fertiliser shortages.

Joselyne is a Rwandan farmer, a single mother, and a beneficiary of one of One Acre Fund’s work. Before joining One Acre Fund, she struggled to grow enough food to feed her children and pay the house rent. Her harvests were always small and she said that the low harvests were caused by her lack of knowledge of improved planting techniques and use of fertilisers, “I had no idea on how to apply fertiliser and had no cash to buy fertiliser.”

In her first season with One Acre Fund, Joselyne was able to order maize seed, tomato seed, bell pepper seed, and fertilizer, and went on to harvest enough food to feed her children. “I felt so happy because of that harvest as my dream had become true. I had to rejoice with my family by eating two meals per day,” said Joselyne. “Farming with One Acre Fund has given me power. I am now sure my children will go to school. I will keep farming with One Acre Fund”.

One Acre Fund
One Acre Fund

With the growing food security crisis in East Africa, equipping farmers like Joselyne is the most efficient way to grow and distribute more food to those in who need it. By scaling up operations and introducing new initiatives, One Acre Fund can reach millions of African farmers and provide them with the support to feed their families and communities.

The Audacious Project, housed at TED, was brought to life through the collaboration of some of the most respected names in the non-profit world, including Skoll, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Scott Cook & Signe Ostby and more. Virgin Unite is proud to be one of the key partners to have joined forces to help make this possible.