Acumen and Agriculture: Increasing Productivity and Improving Lives

Smallholder farmers produce more than 70% of the world’s food, yet many fail to make ends meet

Investment Sector: Agriculture

Most of the world’s poor, nearly 2.5 billion people, live off the land. These smallholder farmers survive by farming small plots of land about the size of a football field. Their 500 million farms produce more than 70% of the global food supply, yet many of the people living on these farms are themselves struggling to survive. Our companies provide smallholder farmers with solutions that improve their productivity, give them access to markets and, ultimately, increase their incomes.
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OUR APPROACH

The Problem

Smallholder farmers produce more than 70% of the world’s food, yet many fail to make ends meet. That’s because the majority of smallholder farmers lack direct access to markets and must rely on middlemen for everything from purchasing inputs to selling their yields at less than fair market prices.

The Opportunity

A growing number of entrepreneurs are developing and delivering new technologies, innovations and business models—from improved seeds and mobile platforms to microloans and direct-purchasing programs— that can help smallholder farmers increase their incomes and work their way out of poverty.

The Solution

We believe the pathway out of poverty for smallholder farmers is to invest in companies that 1) provide farmers access to better products that allow them to sustainably increase production and sell more crops, and 2) integrate farmers into global supply chains by enabling them to bypass middlemen and sell their products directly to buyers at fair market value.

OUR IMPACT IN AGRICULTURE

$33.6M

INVESTED IN

BREAKTHROUGH AG INNOVATIONS
18

AG COMPANIES

PROVIDING CHOICE NOT CHARITY
13.9M

LIVES IMPACTED

with dignity not dependence
Report

Growing Prosperity: Developing Repeatable Models to Scale the Adoption of Agricultural Innovations

In this report, Acumen and Bain & Company unveil how social enterprises can find new, effective ways to profitably serve hard-to-reach rural customers at scale.

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