Investment Profile

Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund, LP

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The Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund (ARAF) is a $58M+ fund that invests in early-growth stage innovative agribusinesses that enhance incomes, reduce volatility, and improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.
A woman standing among tall crops.
A smallholder farmer in her field in Kenya. She is a customer of a microfinance investee of Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund. © Peter Irungu for Acumen
Investment size $7.5M
Type Indirect
Geography Africa
Sector Financial Services
Date 2019

Theory of Change

ARAF enhances the climate resilience of smallholder farmers in East and West Africa by investing in innovative start-ups and early-stage agribusinesses that enable them to anticipate, weather, and bounce back from climate events. Through aggregation, digital platforms, and financial solutions, ARAF will help increase smallholders’ incomes, reduce income volatility, and improve livelihoods.


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.

Challenge and Context

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.

Expected Outcomes

  • 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.