Rural sub-Saharan Africa is the poorest place on earth. The agricultural communities along the Rufiji River host some of the most impoverished farmers in the region, with most making less than US$ 1.25 per day. The ACA Initiative strives to instruct local farmers on modern agricultural techniques to ensure increased output. Couple this with the supply of adimproved agricultural supplies provided by the ACAI and farms can become 200-500 percent more productive in a very short time span. In addition, the ACAI can connect farmers to previously unreachable markets to sell surplus and cash crops at fair market value. This improves small farmers livelihood and buying power and creates a sustainable stream of income. Improved output and income drastically reduces poverty while improving food security and nutrition.
Given that the farmers in the Rufiji River Basin do not have the means to implement advanced farming techniques to improve output, they rely solely on more basic methods, which hinders the overall production of each independent farm. Most do not produce enough food to feed their own families, let alone surplus. The ACAI’s Rufiji River Community Project will change all of that.
Each farmer has access to ACAI’s agricultural supply store to acquire high quality seed, fertilizer and irrigation systems for frequent planting. During intensive training sessions, the ACAI instructs these farmers on proper use and efficiency of modern farming techniques to substantially increase output and earnings without compromising culture or customs. Finally, the ACAI can install efficient irrigation systems to ensure that farmers are growing multiple times per year.
Each farming family can be supported directly with US$ 300 annually to supply agricultural supplies, farm maintenance and irrigation. This will enable farmers to not only provide sustenance for their families, but also grow enough produce to sell at market, giving them the opportunity to purchase necessities such as clothes, shoes and education for their children. Luxuries that many of us take for granted.
Over the course of a five-year plan, the ACAI will improve farming and provide valuable developmental infrastructure for many inhabitants in the Rufiji River Basin. This project will directly benefit over 10,000 impoverished farming families and indirectly benefit 50,000 farmers by empowering them with knowledge, access to the agricultural value chain and create a sustainable development platform to ensure success for years to come.
ACAI’s platform is supported by the crops that the organization grows on 40 acres of farm land. This provides a steady stream of revenue that will be invested into improving curriculum, enhancing learning facilities and providing valuable monitoring and evaluation research as a commitment to constantly improve the project.