Project information

Maendeleo Agricultural Enterprise Fund (MAEF)

MAEF transforms the lives and livelihoods of smallholder farmers in eastern Africa. It supports projects that develop and promote improved agricultural methods, increasing farmers' productivity and driving higher crop yields. This means families have enough food to eat and surplus to sell at market.

January 2012 - December 2014

Charity information


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  • Need


    Agricultural productivity in African countries has stagnated for many years due to government failures, market constraints and the difficulty of ensuring that agricultural innovation gets from research stations to rural farmers' fields. This has fuelled a vicious cycle of poverty and food insecurity.

    FARM-Africa believes in a prosperous rural Africa. We reduce poverty permanently by unleashing African farmers’ abilities to grow their incomes and manage their natural resources sustainably.


    Through competitive application, MAEF will select 2-3 year project partnerships with community organisations and rural-focused NGOs in eastern Africa to explore new technologies in crop, livestock and natural resource management. Particular emphasis will be placed on increasing farmers' access to markets to sell their produce.

    This ensures that farmers boost their yields, grow enough to eat and then sell their surplus produce, generating income and ensuring food security for the long term.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To sustainably improve farmers' livelihoods through agricultural technology and entrepreneurship.


    » Increasing productivity: Support farmers to achieve higher yields through (eg) drought-tolerant seeds and improved soil and water conservation.
    » Adding value to produce: For greater market potential, eg making flour from sweet potatoes, pressing sunflower seeds for oil and solar drying fruit.
    » Linking farmers to markets: Enable smallholders to become rural entrepreneurs by opening up access to markets, thus increasing household income.

    Success will be improved food security and increased household income for 100,000 smallholder farmers and their families in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia by 2016.

  • Impact


    MAEF will empower smallholder farmers to build sustainable farming businesses. This will be brought about through value addition (eg preserving fruit, making cassava chips and flour, crushing sunflower seeds for oil) and through effective marketing of agricultural produce. In this way, rural farmers will grow and trade their way to prosperity.

    Our signs of success will be doubled crop yields, improved food security and a two-fold increase in household income through marketing of produce.


    The major risk to this project is environmental, ie extreme weather conditions bringing too little or too much rain and fluctuations in temperature. This will be addressed through the selection of appropriate technologies such as drought-tolerant seed planting and small-scale irrigation. Another potential risk is market variability. FARM-Africa will address this by adding value to smallholders' produce for market advantage and to enable farmers to diversify their means of making a living.


    We will discuss and agree reporting schedules with donors to fit their requirements. We can provide quarterly updates and more extensive reports on a six-monthly basis, together with case studies and photos.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £81,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £27,000 Year One Project 1: testing new agricultural technologies
      £27,000 Year Two Project 1: developing improved agricultural methods
      £27,000 Year Three Project 1: refining technologies and assessing their potential for scale-out and replication
  • Background


    The project will work in rural Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. We will extend our work to Ethiopia from Year Two.

    Over 80% of people living in remote, rural areas of eastern Africa rely on the food they grow and the animals they keep to survive. Faced with harsh conditions and poor access to essential resources, subsistence agriculture can be a constant struggle. FARM-Africa supports rural farmers in diverse locations across these countries to grow their own ways out of poverty - permanently.


    The project will benefit smallholder farmers in rural communities and enable them to change their lives for the better. Currently, rural farming communities generally have poor access to markets and have had little opportunity for training on how to make the most from their land and resources. The current food crisis in the Horn of Africa emphasises the need for long-term, sustainable agricultural development to ensure that rural African communities can produce enough to eat and to sell.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    FARM-Africa transforms the lives of African farmers, helping them to find a way out of poverty, permanently. For over 25 years we have been at the forefront of agricultural innovation in eastern Africa. We've proven that, with the right training and support, poor rural communities can address many of the key problems they face and work towards a prosperous rural Africa.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Monicah Nyang

    Monicah coordiates our Maendeleo Agricultural Enterprise Fund from our Nairobi office. She is highly experienced in agricultural development.


could equip 280 families with farming tools.

FARM-Africa is helping to solve rural poverty in Africa and for this reason I am personally proud to support their work.

Kofi A. Annan