A new programme, which aims to increase global investment in agribusinesses trading with smallholders, has been launched in Kampala, Uganda.
The Commercial Agriculture for Smallholders and Agribusiness (CASA) programme will encourage global and local investors to invest in agribusinesses that source produce from smallholder farmers.
The programme’s goal is to attract more investment into the Ugandan agricultural sector. A £3 million funding package for Uganda will boost economic growth and raise demand for Ugandan produce.
The UK Government is providing £30 million through UKAid to fund the initiative globally over five years.
CASA ultimately aims to improve the livelihoods of over half a million smallholder farmers and their families in Uganda, Malawi and Nepal.
CASA will bridge evidence gaps, showcase successful business models and help investors and policymakers have access to the right information and people to make inclusive agribusiness models succeed.
Producers, traders, processors and other agribusinesses provide income and jobs for smallholder farmers and farm labourers.
By supporting these small- to mid-size enterprises and helping them become better functioning and more inclusive, farmers and farm labourers will benefit and get access to agricultural value chains.
Over the coming months and years, CASA will be focussing on agribusinesses in the beans and sesame value chains in Uganda.
The programme aims to stimulate not just the specific agribusinesses CASA will partner with, but also attract investments in other agribusinesses and value chains by showcasing success stories.
Paul Kalu, CASA Team Leader, said at the programme launch in Kampala: “With agriculture serving as the backbone of most developing economies – employing the largest number of people and often generating the largest share of national income, it is a simple fact that support to the agricultural sector is one of the most effective ways of lifting people out of poverty in these countries.
“The CASA programme here in Uganda has identified and designed appropriate interventions with the potential of stimulating investment in emerging agri-markets that will lead to improved livelihoods and enhanced resilience of Ugandan smallholder farmers.”