We use our unique agricultural talents to create a model to lift women farmers out of poverty
In 2014, Michelle Kurian left a career in management consulting to embark on a TechnoServe fellowship in Zambia. She was quickly assigned to manage a smallscale soy farmer project in the Copperbelt Province. Little did she know how this project would shape her life's purpose and career. Since then, she has worked on a number of smallscale farmer projects across several countries, applying her business skills to improve agricultural markets, national policies, and smallholder technologies. Yet, she always wondered why the solutions were so disparate and whether there was a way to integrate them for the betterment of poor, smallscale farmers.
Meanwhile, Ackson Mwanza was rising steadily in his career in Zambia. After an initial stint in the agriculture private sector at Zambia Sugar, he joined the Ministry of Agriculture as an Agricultural Officer and was soon promoted to Senior Agricultural Officer. During his time with the Ministry, he was recognized as a Mandela Young African Leader and later awarded a Fulbright-Humphrey fellowship with a scholarship to Cornell University. During his time as a Humphrey Fellow, he completed an apprenticeship on the USAID Developing Local Extension Capacity program which, coincidentally, is the same project where Michelle served as Country Engagement Manager. The rest, they say, is history.
Co-Founder and Executive Director
Michelle leads the administrative and operational functions of The Harvest Fund. When she's not thinking about the ways to improve the lives of smallscale female farmers, she can be found studying French or Chinese. She holds a Master's in Business Administration from Columbia University and a Bachelor's in Economics from Duke University. She currently resides in San Francisco.
Co-Founder and Technical Director
Ackson leads the technical functions of The Harvest Fund. When he's not delivering agricultural extension, he can be found entertaining people with his vibrant sense of humor. He holds a Master's in International Agriculture and Rural Development from Cornell University and a Bachelor's in Agricultural Sciences from the University of Zambia. He currently resides in Kafue.
The Harvest Fund is a US IRS 501(c)(3) registered organization