Smallholder farmers can make the difference


Smallholder farms are a mainstay of our food security. That’s why Rabobank is working with smallholder farmers around the world to improve their yields, offer new sources of revenue, and support the well-being of their communities. 

Rabobank’s Acorn program seeks to facilitate smallholder farmers’ transition to agroforestry with an accessible and affordable system for turning the carbon they sequester into carbon removal units (CRUs) that they can sell on the carbon market. 

Many of our farmers are already reaping the benefits of Acorn. Read some of their stories here.

500 million

Smallholder farmers worldwide

2 billion

People whose livelihoods depend on smallholder farms

80%

Of food in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa comes from smallholder farmers

Source: World Bank Open Data

Meet some of our amazing farmers

James

    Ivory Coast

    25 years old

James has a bachelor’s in accounting, but he went back home to become a farmer. Farming is a family tradition, but more importantly it’s his passion. James is always looking to learn more, and he is eager to try new agricultural practices on his land. ‌

‌“I have rice and agroforestry. I grow mostly vegetables and fruit trees, like 10 avocado trees. I have bananas, 3 mango trees, 2 orange trees, and I grow popo wheat and potatoes. I also grow plants that are not edible, but I just have them for intercropping, like trees for animals and to cover the crops. The crops benefit from the trees, and the trees benefit from the crops.”*

Aminata

    Gambia

    28 years old

Aminata, or Amy, is a house wife and farmer. She takes care of the land that feeds her family, while her husband manages rice paddies next to the river, which is the family cash crop. The region in Gambia where Amy lives is severely deforested and impacted by climate change. There is very little rainfall left and they have seen increasing extremes in temperatures. 

‌“We were already very aware of agroforestry because of the long-term benefits, like more income and different foods. But we previously couldn’t switch because the transition period is too costly, we needed financial support from the beginning to start agroforestry. There was no other way, the normal loans from the bank were very expensive.”*

Aminata

    Kenya

    28 years old

Aminata is a housewife and farmer. She takes care of the land that feeds her family while her husband manages rice paddies along the river, which is the family’s cash crop. This region in Kenya is severely deforested and feeling the effects of climate change. There is very little rainfall and increasing extremes in temperatures 

‌“We were already very aware of agroforestry because of its long-term benefits, like more income and different foods. But we couldn’t switch because the transition period is too costly, and bank loans are normally very expensive. Acorn has given us the financial support we need to move to agroforestry.”*

Nina

    Tanzania

    42 years old

Nina grows plantain, cassava, cocoa, and sometimes pepper. She also has a few trees on her land which she tends to carefully. She had not heard of agroforestry, but had intuitively implemented its principles on her land.

‌“I noticed that plants closer to the trees looked healthier than plants that did not, so I kept the trees. Their roots attract water to the soil for nutrients, so I am eager to plant even more! Nothing has held me back except money.”*

*: Based on actual interviews, personal details have been altered for privacy reasons.