Making Inclusivity Work: A role for legal empowerment

The 31 March 2021 webinar discussed recommendations for capital providers to achievesustainable investments in commercial agriculture that promote inclusivity of smallholder farmers in value chains in developing countries.

The session featured reports from the Empowering Producers in Commercial Agriculture  programme on working with farmer groups, including:


Ben Bowie has been with TMP Systems since 2011 and is the managing director of our UK-based non-profit, TMP Public. TMP Public prioritizes work in developing countries and with vulnerable groups, helping both public and private organizations to use local networks and data-driven techniques to deliver better results. 

Ben has successfully directed projects across more than 20 different countries in Africa and Asia for problems such as poverty reduction, human rights, small-scale energy, gender equality, climate change and sustainable agriculture. He was formerly a consultant for institutions including the ODI, Global Witness, the European Commission and companies in the extractive industries. 

Kumvana Mlumbe is legal manager at Women’s Legal Resources Centre (WOLREC). WOLREC is a women’s rights NGO that provides access to economic, social and legal justice to women in Malawi. Kumvana is also a network lawyer with Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa (ISLA) and a project officer with EPIC in Malawi [funded by FCDO through International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)] and is working with tea industry smallholder commercial farmers.

Kumvana also guest lecturers at the Polytechnic University of Malawi. Her interests include public interest Litigation, women’s inheritance & land rights, women’s political & economic rights, gender-based violence and child rights.

Grahame Dixie is the executive director of Grow Asia. Launched in 2015 by the World Economic Forum and ASEAN secretariat, Grow Asia seeks to generate impact through multi-stakeholders approaches in national-level initiatives in six countries in South East Asia. Its goal was to improve the profitability,  productivity and environmental sustainability of the region’s smaller scale producers.  Currently over 1 million producers are actively involved in the network’s  50 sub-projects.   
Grahame’s experience spans 75 countries. He served as the World Bank’s lead agribusiness advisor, linking smaller scale farmers to markets and agribusinesses.  He led the WB participation in the work of the interagency working group (i.e. IAW,  FAO,  IFAD,  UNCTAD & WB) research on the outcomes of 178 larger scale agribusiness investments,  looking at whether being responsible is reflected in the success or otherwise of 28 mature agribusiness investments, etc. 

Emily Polack is a senior researcher in the Legal Tools Team at IIED. Emily has 20 years of experience working in natural resource governance, including previous work on rights based approaches to climate change adaptation. In partnership with a wide range of actors globally, Emily’s recent work has focused on the governance of agricultural investments, through community based action research, policy research and convening peer learning on approaches to citizen empowerment and agency. Emily is the technical lead at IIED for the Empowering rural Producers in Commercial Agriculture (EPIC) project. She has co-authored EPIC research on producer agency and agricultural value chains, and socio-legal empowerment and agency of small-scale farmers in informal markets.

Alice Chapple (moderator) is an economist and a specialist in impact investment and impact assessment. She is CASA’s investment adviser and she established Impact Value in October 2012. Alice previously worked as director of sustainable financial markets at Forum for the Future. She also worked as a financial analyst, fund manager and social and environmental advisor for the CDC Group. Alice’s current roles include chair of Investor Watch, independent chair of the CDC Plus (technical assistance) committee, trustee of the Shell Foundation, and member of the advisory boards of Sainsbury’s Foundation, Frontier Finance Solutions and Connected Asset Management.

After the presentations there will be around 20 minutes of questions and answers.

Would should watch this recording?

Impact investors; development finance institutions; commercial lenders, donors and investment promotion agencies. It will also provide useful background information for agri-business companies and experts; NGOs and Think Tanks.

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About the series

This series of webinars features analysis of evidence by the CASA programme and partners, designed to support the commercialisation of agriculture in emerging markets across the developing world. The series will showcase solutions to the most common challenges in agri-business for inclusive growth and support investment facilitation in agriculture in emerging markets.

Each webinar lasts 60 minutes and take place on the last Wednesday of the month. The webinars will typically feature a combination of researchers and agri-business experts. Crucially, discussion will focus on actionable take-aways (‘breakthroughs’).

After the event you will receive a one-page briefing note which summarises all of the key discussion points. Within a few days of each event a video will be available in the events section of the CASA programme website. Any documents referenced in the webinars will be found in the evidence section of the CASA website.

For further information e-mail:

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