A new UK-funded programme, which aims to increase investment in agribusinesses trading with smallholders has been launched in Uganda..
The Commercial Agriculture for Smallholders and Agribusiness (CASA) programme will encourage international 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, boost economic growth and raise demand for Ugandan produce.
Funded by the UK Government through UKAid, CASA is a £30 million (Shs 135bn) five-year global initiative, which 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 (SMEs) to perform better and be more inclusive, farmers and farm labourers will benefit from 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 both the agribusinesses CASA will partner, and attract investments in other agribusinesses and value chains by showcasing success stories.
Paul Kalu, CASA Team Leader said, “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,” he added.
CASA’s vision is increased global investment in agribusinesses which trade with smallholders in equitable commercial relationships, increasing smallholders’ incomes and climate resilience.
The programme will make the commercial and development case for investing in agribusinesses that source produce from smallholders.
The Department for International Development (DFID) leads the UK’s efforts to reduce poverty and deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in line with the UK Aid Strategy, helping deliver UK government’s wider national security objectives.