Global demand for food and agricultural commodities is increasing...

Small agribusinesses and start-ups are less able to access finance from investors or banks

0 m
smallholder farms worldwide
0 %
of agricultural land is held by smallholders
< 0 %
of smallholders are commercially active

Smallholder agriculture in Africa and South Asia suffers from low deployment of effective farm inputs and weak links between farmers and commercial buyers. These drive down smallholder farm productivity and quality, increasing the perceived risk faced by agribusiness that source produce from smallholders and reducing investor appetite for investing in these businesses.

The CASA programme will make the commercial and development case for investing in agribusinesses that source produce from smallholders. It will do this by demonstrating how this can be done effectively, by bridging evidence gaps and by ensuring investors and policymakers have access to the right information and people to make inclusive agribusiness models succeed.

By showcasing successful models for businesses that source produce from smallholders and pulling together the evidence base supporting the commercial and development impact of their business models, CASA will attract more investment into the sector, boosting economic growth and raising demand for smallholder produce.

Programme components

CASA will support SME agribusinesses, smallholder groups, cooperatives and business groups advocating for reform, initially focusing on two value chains in Nepal, Malawi and Uganda.


  • More inclusive market structures, enabling smallholders to engage and participate in value chains
  • Improved pipeline of investable agribusinesses with significant smallholder supply chains
  • More transparent and competitive agribusiness enabling environment

A Smallholder Development Facility will support larger agribusinesses to increase their smallholder impact and work with investors to raise their ambition on development impact.


  • Smallholder impact of development finance deals is increased
  • Rural communities are able to actively participate in investment decisions which affect them

Learning activities will bring together research into commercial agriculture with insights from DFID’s portfolio of agriculture programmes, in order to shape the debate on smallholder agriculture to influence actions of investors, donors and governments.


  • Inspire the private sector investor community
  • Consolidate the learning and commissioned research from CASA and beyond
  • Develop opportunities to sustain the impact of CASA through allegiances with institutions and networks