The Great African Food Company (GAFCo) is striving to empower families and reverse the effect of poverty, one generation at a time. Their mission is to uplift children and their families out of poverty by connecting smallholder farmers to high quality inputs, financial services, crop insurance, good agricultural practices, and global markets. They are operating in a three-in-one partnership, working with World Vision Tanzania and Vision Fund Tanzania to bring their project to scale.
They envision an Africa where smallholder farmers are primary participants in feeding the world, and where their children are direct benefits of their improved income. Currently their farmers span throughout Tanzania, reaching over 4,000 smallholder farmers. Their goal for Tanzania is to raise the income of 155,000 farmer households to at least twice the poverty level, impacting 775,000 children. In the next 5 to 7 years they plan to expand their reach in East Africa by recruiting small-holder farmers throughout Africa, as their model is proven.
GAFCo works with smallholder farmers through forward contracts and providing a full-service platform including high quality inputs, best practices training in conservation agriculture, rotational crops, guaranteed crop purchase price, finance, crop and life insurance, access to global markets and the opportunity to expand their farming business through mechanized services. Along with supporting smallholder farmers, GAFCo provides full-service forward contracts, including crop insurance, to nearly 200 station farmers with 50 to 200 acres. GAFCo provides mechanized services for these larger farmers. These station farmers give the small-holder farmers something to aspire to. GAFCo wants to break the cycle of poverty, by giving individuals and families the resources and opportunity to better their future.
Another way that they invest in their farmers is through offering classes on farming organically. Their small planet nourishes them all and is why GAFCo is committed to organic farming practices that eliminate the use of toxic chemical pesticides, reducing the use of chemical fertilizers and a focus on increasing soil organic matter to improve soil characteristics and sequester CO2. Nature provides countless lessons in how to control insects and plant diseases. They strive to take nature's examples and apply them to their farming systems.
They hope that their greatest impact will be on the wellbeing of the children. This is why they start every season with a farmer’s survey to collect Progress out of Poverty and child-well being data. By asking these questions, they can track the impact that increased income has made on the children, and their progress out of poverty.
Their mission is to create hundreds of farmer-owned businesses to teach skills that last a lifetime. Isolated rural communities, once marginalized, become connected through GAFCo's market network to people and places across the globe. Economic empowerment (poverty reduction) results from fair prices and stable markets. By organizing small-holder farmers and aggregating their production they achieve the scale needed to competitively connect high quality crops to markets outside the “local” reach of small scale farmers. Increased incomes give families the ability to invest in what they perceive as their most pressing needs, including education, healthcare, and nutrition for their children.
Beyond GAFCo’s social, economic and environmental goals is the long-term change of each person they work with to provide a better understanding of the world they live in, their neighbors and how they are all connected. This deeper understanding extends to children who can begin to perceive a world of opportunities and challenges for them to solve, bringing real change for a sustainable tomorrow.
They believe farmers are the solution to ending poverty and hunger. They make up the majority of the population in the world’s developing countries and are some of the hardest-working people on the planet. GAFCo puts farmers first in everything that they do. By listening to their farmers, they create a simple new way for them to significantly increase farm income on every planted acre.