One Acre provides loans for inputs and training for farmers. They operate in Kenya, Burundi and Rwanda. One Acre Fund began piloting mobile repayment with about 1,000 farmers in one district in mid-2013 (roughly 1.5 percent of Kenya clients at the time). In the initial trial, group leaders collected loan repayment from individual farmers, and then submitted an aggregate payment through M-PESA. This trial went well, and One Acre Fund decided to expand it in 2014.
The expanded trial included two configurations: group leader repayment (like the 2013 trial), and farmer repayment (new). The group leader repayment trial included 3,500 farmers (roughly 4 percent of Kenya clients), and the farmer repayment trial included 400 farmers (roughly 0.5 percent of Kenya clients). It’s too early to say exactly when One Acre Fund’s Kenya operation will be able to roll out mobile repayment to all its customers.
With funding from the Gates Foundation, One Acre will test over 40 potential technologies over the next three years, with the goal of rolling out at least 4 technologies to at least 200,000 One Acre families.