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Meet Ruth: Expert Farmer, Mom to 8

February 28, 2016


Ruth is a farmer and mother of eight in Lutacho village in Western Kenya. For years, her harvest consisted of a few small bags of maize, not enough to feed her family. So she would buy a small bag of potatoes each week and travel to another village to sell french fries. She would earn $5 a week to feed her family.  

Ruth planting for the 2010 season.

Then Ruth joined One Acre Fund, an innovative nonprofit that supports Africa’s largest network of smallholder farmers. She was given access to seeds, fertilizer, tools and new techniques. In the subsequent harvest, she produced enough maize to feed her family for a year, with surplus. She used the extra maize to pay her son, Patrick’s school fees. He is the first in his family to go beyond grade school, and he plans to attend university one day to become a doctor.

Patrick at school, preparing for his Form 1 exams.

Africa’s smallholder farmers, most of whom are women, do back-breaking work with suboptimal seeds, depleted soil, inadequate storage facilities and obstructed roads, producing only ¼ of the harvest per acre of western farmers.

Yet farmers, like Ruth, are the solution to hunger and poverty. They comprise the majority of the population in the developing world, and they are among the hardest working people on the planet. When farmers improve their harvests, they pull their communities out of poverty.

Ruth's family at harvest.

When you support One Acre Fund, you help smallholder farmers in Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania finance their inputs, access seed and fertilizer, learn effective agricultural techniques and get their harvests to markets—all this within walking distance of their homes. The results are astounding. Farm families who work with One Acre Fund on average see a 50% increase in income from their harvests.

We support One Acre Fund because they empower women and put farmers first. Extensive impact studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of their award-winning work. Learn more about Africa’s smallholder farmers below and turn your talents into a fundraiser for One Acre Fund today.

Photos courtesy of One Acre Fund

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