ARAF was developed as a result of lessons learned over a decade of investing in agriculture by Acumen. The $58 million equity fund addresses capital gaps for agribusiness as they scale. ARAF invests in businesses with passionate founders committed to building profitable and scalable enterprises that prioritize the evolving needs of smallholders.
Climate change is having a devastating impact on the lives and livelihoods of smallholder farmers, who produce some 70 percent of the world’s food. Rising temperatures, erratic rainfall, and droughts and floods will continue to undermine crop yields even as the world’s population continues to grow. Smallholder farmers face the additional barrier of being geographically dispersed, rendering access to formal commodity markets more challenging, which compels them to rely on intermediaries or middle markets. They also lack access to affordable financial services.
By 2031, ARAF aims to improve the lives of two million smallholder farmers across East and West Africa through its investments.
- The adoption of climate adaptation solutions that enable, for example, diversification of income through a transition to high-value crops and animal breeds and access to green technology such as solar-powered irrigation systems and regenerative agriculture practices
- Access to improved agricultural technologies such as high-quality fertilizer and seeds and training to optimize their use
This investment contributes to the Open Society Foundation’s climate justice and food security work in Africa.