KAMPALA (HAN) May 6.2016. Public Diplomacy & Regional Security News. By Allan Olingo. Uganda and Malawi farmers are set to benefit from financing and training after One Acre Fund, a non-profit agriculture organisation that supplies smallholder farmers announced entry into these markets.
Andrew Youn, One Acre Fund’s founder and executive director said participating smallholder farmers will now eligible for financing.
“Farmers in our programmes in these countries will now be able to receive a complete bundle of agricultural inputs and services on credit, including the delivery of high-quality seeds and fertiliser, training on how to maximise crop yields, and education on how to minimise post-harvest losses,” Mr Youn said.
To accommodate clients, One Acre Fund will offer a flexible repayment system where farmers may repay the loans in any amount and at any time during the growing season as long as they complete repayment by the season’s end. In 2015, 99 per cent of One Acre Fund farmers repaid their loans in full and on time.
According to Mr Youn, they are currently working with 2,600 farmers in the Zomba, Mulanje, and Chiradzulu districts of Malawi and 3,700 farmers in the Jinja and Kamuli districts of Uganda.
“Loan packages vary depending on the size of land registered; farmers may enrol as little as half an acre of land,” Mr Youn said adding that to be eligible for a loan, farmers are required to submit a small down payment of the total loan, meet regularly with a local One Acre Fund field officer, and attend in-person agricultural trainings.
Founded in ten years ago in western Kenya, One Acre Fund currently works with more than 400,000 smallholder farmers in Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Malawi, and Uganda.