CASA meets international agricultural investors at AGRF Deal Room

This year the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) Deal Room will host four sessions featuring the CASA team, promoting approaches to support investment in agricultural value chains that include small-scale farmers in Africa.

The AGRF is the premier meeting place for opinion formers and investors in all aspect of agricultural transformation. This year, in response to the pandemic, the AGRF will be a blended event taking place through a combination of physical meetings in Nairobi, but with most delegates joining online. 

On 6 September the Deal Room will be the prelude to the full AGRF conference. Dr Fadel Ndiame, Deputy President, AGRA, explained the aim of the Deal Room: ‘The huge potential of the agricultural sector on the continent remains unmet, with agriculture being the engine of African economies. We designed the Deal Room to build the capacities of SMEs while at the same time connecting them with sources of financing. We are looking for investments and partnerships that will unlock the sector’s potential across the continent.’ 

Alvaro Valverde from CASA explains: “We are grateful to our colleagues at AGRA for helping us take such a prominent part in the upcoming AGRF Deal Room. The CASA team are involved in three of the AGRF Deal Room sessions and one side event. This will help us support investors and policymakers to access the right information and promote additionality while facilitating profitable, inclusive agribusiness models and investments. Our presentations at AGRF will be pivotal in attracting more investment into the agricultural sector, boosting economic growth and raising demand for smallholder produce.”

CASA involvement in sessions at the AGRF Deal Room reflect the diversity of the ways the programme works to support and inform investors, and to create a conducive enabling environment to support sustainable investment.

The Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) received strong interest from the potential investors in the agriculture sector at the AGRF Deal Room in 2020. The global pandemic has a very detrimental effect on investment into all sectors – including agricultural businesses. UIA had been exploring ways of working with CASA to consolidate this interest into solid investment. To help this process UIA and CASA worked with AGRA to develop an investor summit. The summit suggested a long list of refinements to the ways that agricultural investments are supported in Uganda. UIA will be announcing new commitments in response to the summit and the CASA will set out how the consultation process worked.

The CASA Malawi team has been doing great work on inclusive poultry and aquaculture value chains. In 2020 they wrote strategy documents setting out pathways to more inclusive investment strategies. It has backed up the strategy with pump-priming investment in 2 value-chains. In the CASA Malawi session three investment-ready businesses will be pitching for investment. The lead of the CASA technical assistance facility will also be taking part in a discussion aimed at strengthening synergies in the provision of technical assistance along agricultural business value chains.

AGRF has also selected both of the 4x4s driven by Grahame Dixie (Recent experiences by Grow Asia and Policy and Coordination)  to be featured in the Deal Room, Exhibition Hall. Alvaro Valverde of CASA commented: “we are pleased that the 4×4 films are seen as valuable way to get information to policy makers and investors. This is a great endorsement of our approach to investment promotion.” 

Register for the AGRF Deal Room for free. Once delegates have registered they can access the full agenda for the day.

A summary of the AGRF Deal Room sessions featuring lessons and investment ready agri-businesses, developed by CASA, can be found below:

TimeSession summaryAudience
11:00 – 11:50 EAT (09:00 – 09:50 BST) Pathways to attracting impactful investments in Uganda

In July 2021 CASA facilitated an Agriculture Investment Summit in Uganda in partnership with the Uganda Investment Authority and AGRA and stakeholders interested eager to explore how policy and practice could open-up investment in agriculture in Uganda.  

The session will explore some of the key challenges and bottlenecks faced for investing in agriculture in Uganda and propose new ways in which investors, investment stakeholders and policy makers can pursue a shared agenda for agricultural investment.  

Investors taking part include:
Alice Chapple, Impact Investment, Mahmood Hudda, Mairye Estate Uganda, Jasmin Hidanovic, AgDevCo and Hope Waira, Uganda Investment Authority, Uganda.  

This session will also explain the process that led to the Uganda recommendations and action plan.  

Supporting documentation: A collaborative approach for government and investors to unlock investment opportunities
Existing and potential investors in agriculture in Uganda Policy makers in other nationals and regions keen to explore how to facilitate a cross-sector dialogue to increase inward and local investment impactful investment in agriculture
12:00 – 12:50 EAT (10:00 – 10:50 BST)  Making the case for investing in smallholders: Poultry and aquaculture agribusinesses for accelerated growth and enhanced food systems in Malawi  

Session objective:
The objective is to stimulate behavioural change of investors, policy makers and other stakeholders on agricultural investments by demonstrating the commercial and development potential of smallholder sourcing models.  

The case agricultural investment in Malawi will be made by Pilira Kafakamoyo, acting director of investment promotion and facilitation at the Malawi Investment and Trade Centre.  

Pitches for investment in poultry and aquaculture enterprises:  

Nyaluwanga Poultry Farm, established in December 2014, specialises in producing high quality poultry and poultry products. Nyaluwanga works with other aspiring small-scale poultry farmers, helping them start their own poultry business by providing advice and planning. Pitch by Cecelia Mseteka. 

Viphya Chambo, the biggest fish farm in northern Malawi. The farm produces and supplies Tilapia (Chambo) and Catfish. It has 3.5 hectares of fishponds. A greenhouse structure installed ensures continued reproduction during winter Viphya Chambo is the largest private fingerling producer in Malawi. Pitch by Falesi Mwangonde.

Lenziemill Milling Ltd, established in 2017, is primarily focused on Livestock feed milling, agro processing and contract farming. They currently produce both commercial layer and broiler feed. Pitch by Maya Khonje-Stewart.

Supporting documentation Aquaculture sector strategy – Malawi Poultry sector strategy – Malawi.    
Investors in agri-businesses
17:00 – 17:50 EAT (15:00 – 15:50 BST)Strengthening the SME enabling system

This session will focus on building the SME ecosystem by strengthening the connection between programs providing technical assistance to agri-SMEs.  

The panel consists of Melanie Machingawuta, team lead for the CASA Technical Assistance Facility (TAF) which deploys technical assistance mechanisms alongside impact investors to strengthen upstream supply chains, drive commercial returns and generate meaningful development impact around these agribusiness investments.

CASA partners Aceli Africa has an aim of building the finance market for an inclusive agriculture sector in Africa. Richard Midikira Midikira, who manage technical assistance to agricultural SMEs at Aceli joins the panel.

Beatrice Githinji, Access to Finance Manager heads up a regional project for ISF around financial inclusion for agro processors in East Africa. Songbae Lee is Ag finance team lead Ag Finance Team Lead, Bureau for Resilience and Food Security at USAID. Grace Mwai is the Deputy Chief of Party at USAID’s Kenya Investment Mechanism, implemented by The Palladium Group, oversees the technical implementation of the program that seeks to unlock over $520 million in finance and investments for businesses in East Africa.  
Suppliers, providers and funders of technical assistance
16:30 – 18:30 EAT (14:30 – 16:30 BST)  Food Systems and integrated policy

Session organised between Rockefeller Foundation & IKEA Foundation with a strong participation from the Malabo Montpellier Panel.   The momentum generated by the Food Systems Summit has put food systems transformation at the center of global discourse and many African national agendas. Food systems in Africa are still maturing and can be steered in a healthier, more sustainable, and more equitable direction through integrated and coherent policy.

Despite progress in cross-sectoral policy coherence in several African countries, these strategies have focused primarily on agricultural production or maternal and child nutrition. Food systems transformation requires systems thinking and a new level of intersectorality and inclusivity in policy development and implementation.

This session will explore various experiences and approaches towards food system policies that are integrated and transformational.   The panel will include CASA associate Katrin Glatzel  (Akademiya2063) alongside Jeroen Candel and Brenda Namugumya (Wageningen University & Research), Peiman Milani and William Asiko (Rockefeller Foundation), Mandefro Nigussie (Agricultural Transformation Agency of Ethiopia) and Namukolo Covic (International Food Policy Research Institute).               
Governments. Policy makers and stakeholders involved in food systems transformation

Leave a Reply



Change Projects to Progress