Calvert Impact Capital, a US-based non-profit that raises funds for organisations with a social and environmental focus, has loaned $5 million (about Sh504 million) to One Acre Fund, a US-based NGO that supports farmers in Kenya and five other African countries.
One Acre said it plans to use the proceeds for agricultural needs for Kenyan farmers such as fertiliser and seed and green energy focused equipment, such as solar panels and environmentally-friendly cookstoves.
“Smallholder farmers need improved access to high-quality inputs, financing, and agricultural training to achieve food security and prosperity in their homes. Our partnership with Calvert Impact Capital will enable us to deliver services to more farmers, helping create futures of big harvests, healthy families, and rich soils,” said Jenya Shandina, a senior manager at One Acre in a statement.
The organisation will lease the items to small-scale farmers in East Africa including in Kenya, Burundi, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.
One Acre also has budgeted a portion of the funds for pilot programs in Asia and countries it has not previously served in East Africa.
One Acre offers financing for agricultural inputs and green energy equipment, distribution of the items, agricultural training, crop insurance, and market facilitation to smallholder farmers.
As of December 2017, One Acre reported total assets of $87 million,(about Sh8.77 billion) receivables from farmers of $10 million (Sh1 billion), and inventory including $19 million (Sh1.9 billion) in farming inputs and 4.7 million (Sh473 million) in solar panels.
For 2017, it reported income of $100 million (Sh10 billion). As of 2018, it supports 600,000 farming families.