Assisting farmers to end the cycle of poverty and hunger
IMPACT AREA: Food security and sustainable agriculture
One Acre aims to achieve the end of poverty and hunger in our lifetime and is focused on breaking the cycle of poverty and starvation that impacts around one billion people in Africa. One Acre created a unique system to help bring an end to these conditions and has supported thousands of people by offering education and assistance.
A large percent of those who go hungry are small scale, rural farmers who rely on their yearly harvest for food and financial income. The factors driving this range from political instability resulting in civil war and genocide as well as climate change. Each year, farmers suffer through a six to eight month ‘hunger season.’ A period where food is scarce and the price of basic foods like oats and potatoes surge beyond affordability. Sometimes a family must survive on a small cup of porridge a day for each person; or nothing.
The lack of a fruitful harvest year after year means that farmers must sacrifice educating their children to instead feed them meagre amounts of food. Children are stunted in their physical and mental growth from the lack of nutrition and many die.
As part of the One Acre fund program, farmers are lent money for seeds, fertilizers and equipment and offered training sessions to develop agricultural techniques. When harvest season comes, One Acre facilitates markets and services which ensure farmers can sell their surplus supplies. Farmers can generate enough food to feed their families and enough income to educate them, and the wider community benefits as food becomes more plentiful.
As farms grow and expand, the farmers very gradually reimburse the money borrowed from One Acre. This system of repayment has helped to allow One Acre to expand its services to rural farmers in Rwanda, Burandi, Tanzania, Uganda and Malawi. Rather than clearing new farmland, One Acre utilises what already exists and aims to keep CO2 levels to a minimum per farmer.
The Morris Family Foundation has supported One Acre Fund since 2015, with funding directed towards farmer communities in Rwanda and Burundi.