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 Commercial Agriculture for Smallholders and Agribusiness (CASA) Programme aims to make the commercial and development case for investing in agribusinesses that source produce from smallholders. CASA bridges evidence gaps to ensure that 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 and business groups to increase their productivity and access to markets. While other components of CASA are engaging with investors operating in food systems across Asia and Africa, this component is focused on Nepal (with vegetable and dairy value chains), Malawi (with aquaculture and poultry) and Uganda (with sesame and beans).


  • 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

Delivered by:

The CASA Technical Assistance Facility (TAF) will partner with investors to assess and demonstrate how inclusive technical assistance can strengthen the commercial viability and development impact of agribusinesses that source from smallholders.

Through these investor partnerships, the CASA TAF will provide technical assistance to agribusinesses in the developing world to deepen the impact of their smallholder supply chains. The technical assistance aims to improve the operations and profitability of agribusiness sourcing models, allowing agribusinesses to do more and better business with smallholder farmers — while increasing investor returns.


  • Increase smallholder impact of existing investments made by investors;
  • Raise investor expectations in smallholder impact potential for future investments;
  • Increase provision of technical assistance by investors with development interests.

Delivered by: 

CASA is commissioning research to address the evidence gaps identified by the investor community. Events and the evidence database will also showcase learning from across the agribusiness sector, including data from investor portfolios, insights from the performance of investor supporting stakeholders’ and analysis from our knowledge partners..


  • 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

Delivered by: