The Smallholder Resilience Fund (SRF) deploys ‘synchronized investments’—simultaneous sustainable agriculture investments across an entire food system value chain—to reduce the risk of failure at any one part of the supply chain and manage larger volumes. This equips smallholder farmers, agricultural SMEs, processors, distributors and exporters to achieve greater resilience, higher incomes and increased carbon sequestration. Investments will be de-risked and accelerated via support and capacity-building from One Acre Fund. SRF will initially target Kenya and Rwanda to prove the concept.
African smallholder farmers are the world’s poorest and most climate-vulnerable population, yet the agricultural value chains that would enable them to increase their yields and profits are severely underfinanced and threatened by climate change. Many barriers contribute to this problem: limited pipeline of bankable projects, investment risk and lack of data, and absence of intermediation between capital and investments.
The Smallholder Resilience Fund would address these barriers directly by deploying ‘synchronized investments’ across the entire food system supply chain of high-value, climate-friendly crops. This equips smallholders and sustainable agriculture SMEs to achieve higher incomes, greater climate resilience, and increased carbon. Investments will be de-risked and accelerated via One Acre Fund’s support and capacity-building.
“By partnering with the Lab, One Acre Fund sees an opportunity to de-risk and attract value chain investments that will enable mass numbers of smallholders to achieve higher incomes and greater climate resilience. One Acre Fund also hopes to establish a new precedent for successful and replicable private investment opportunities in African agriculture,” – Eric Pohlman, Rwanda Country Director, One Acre Fund.
The proponent aims to enable 1 million African smallholders to increase their annual farm profits and climate resilience and catalyze permanent systems change within targeted value chains by setting precedents for successful, replicable private investment opportunities. Such investment will bring significant mitigation benefits (with mass planting of fruit and nut trees, and by reducing pressure to convert savannah or forest into farmland via higher smallholder productivity) and increase smallholder resilience through crop diversification.
Photo: Esta Kanyombwe, a smallholder farmer and One Acre Fund client since 2016 from Senjele village in Tanzania. Credit: One Acre Fund
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