Wednesday - September 19, 2018
Promoting Social Innovation:

Bayer collaborates with One Acre Fund to support smallholders in Africa with a donation of EUR 700,000

Project aims to improve African smallholder farmers’ incomes and enable better nutrition for their families / The long-term goal is to establish a joint network with social entrepreneurs and thus sustainably improve the lives of smallholder farmers in rural regions of Africa
Liam Condon, member of the Board of Management of Bayer AG and President of the Crop Science Division, Sarah LaHaye, Head of Business Development, One Acre Fund, Monika Lessl, Head of Corporate Innovation & R&D, Bayer

Leverkusen, September 19, 2018 – As part of Bayer's long-term goal to improve the lives of smallholder farmers and their families, the company donated EUR 700,000 to One Acre Fund, a non-profit social enterprise supplying smallholder farmers with the financing, tools and training they need to succeed. The donation will allow One Acre Fund to pursue two innovative services for farmers in Kenya and Rwanda: improved poultry products and digital technologies. At scale, these innovations could reach nearly 600,000 smallholder farmers in Kenya and Rwanda.

Poultry in focus to enhance family nutrition

“High-quality poultry can be an impactful product for farmers for multiple reasons," says Margaret Vernon, Director of Impact at One Acre Fund. “Increased egg production can improve a family’s nutrition and dietary diversity, while the sale of birds and eggs supplement a smallholder farmer's income. Importantly, poultry is also a new revenue stream for many of the farmers that we serve, which is a big win for resilience through income diversification.”

In addition to testing this poultry package with One Acre Fund clients, the organization will also collaborate with independent poultry companies in Rwanda and Kenya to increase the supply of healthy, high-quality chickens among rural communities.

Building efficiency through digital innovation

Farm-facing technology is the key to One Acre Fund’s ambitious plans for growth. With support from Bayer, One Acre Fund will adapt digital tools like tablets and mobile phones to make their day-to-day operations more efficient – enabling them to reach more farmers at a lower cost. For instance, employees can use tablets to register farmers for the program, thereby increasing data accuracy and freeing up valuable time for activities like farmer training. This will be crucial to One Acre Fund’s goal of reaching 600,000 clients in Kenya and Rwanda by 2020.

Social innovations are a core element of Bayer’s innovation strategy

The partnership with One Acre Fund is a key element of Bayer’s strategy to support social innovations and sustainable development in Africa. The ultimate aim is to significantly improve the living conditions, incomes and health of smallholder farmers and their families. “We have set ourselves the goal of positively impacting the lives of smallholder farmers in rural Africa by collaborating with social entrepreneurs,” says Liam Condon, member of the Board of Management of Bayer AG and President of the Crop Science Division. “We are working within a network of different players from health care, agriculture and digital technologies to achieve this. Through making our expertise, resources, ideas and innovations available, we plan to positively impact at least 100 million people – smallholder farmers and their families – across the world in the longer term.”

In addition to One Acre Fund, Bayer also works with the startup myAgro and the innovative insurance company Pula. Small amounts of money are saved by smallholder farmers in Africa via mobile phones in the form of myAgro scratch cards and exchanged for high-quality seed and fertilizer, and thus increase their incomes. An additional element of the collaboration with myAgro is a deworming initiative for the farmers’ children. Pula offers insurance policies that are specially tailored to the needs of smallholders in Africa and India. This enables them to cover part of the risks associated with corn cultivation.

“Social entrepreneurship has enabled us to help people around the globe through innovative ideas,” explains Monika Lessl, Head of Corporate Innovation and R&D for Bayer. “Therefore, our innovation strategy depends on close cooperation with external partners – such as universities, research institutions or start-ups. We will work together to find solutions that help us address major societal challenges.”

About Bayer
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2017, the Group employed around 99,800 people and had sales of 35.0 billion euros. Capital expenditures amounted to 2.4 billion euros, R&D expenses to 4.5 billion euros. For more information, go to

Forward-Looking Statements
This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer website at The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

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