GROW: The CASA Newsletter Issue 2 | June 2022

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Welcome to Grow, the newsletter from CASA, the Commercial Agriculture for Smallholders and Agribusiness (CASA) Programme.

This newsletter explores two overarching themes that have been present in CASA’s work over the past 6 months:

  • Overcoming barriers that exclude small-scale farmers from supply chains.
  • Investment analysis & calculations of the looming financing gap for agricultural producers.

The COVID-19 pandemic means these are challenging times for the investor community. The challenges have driven some real innovations, alongside the tragedies and heartbreaks that Covid has delivered. Below you will see example of how CASA Malawi and Nepal have developed exemplar projects using e-commerce to ensure that businesses continue to have a market for produce from small-scale producers.

We continue to innovate in the ways we share information with the investor community. This month we will see our new 4×4 event joining our successful webinar series. You will see below we are crowd sourcing questions over the next week to make the events fully interactive.

July will see the Uganda Investment Summit. We are proud to be working with AGRA and the Uganda Investment Authority. We are inviting a small group of investors to an action planning event as part of a drive to get more investment in agribusinesses sourcing from small-scale producers in Uganda. We are also actively planning with AGRA to use the experiences from this event to inform the Deal Room at the AGRF in September.

Also look out for our climate-smart investment breakthrough webinar in October, just ahead of the COP26 in Glasgow in November.

Following consultation with the investor community we have been working to improve our website. This is an on-going process, but we have made the first steps. Please check out progress at

To date 700 people have accessed our events or been in conversations with CASA. Many more have accessed the nearly 400 reports available in the evidence section of the website.

CASA 4 x 4 – covering difficult terrain with our new Q&A

CASA is introducing a new format for sharing information called 4×4.

We will invite a subject expert to answer questions from around 600 people who make up the CASA community. We will select the best 4 questions and put these to our expert.

The expert will in turn have 4 minutes to answer each question.​​​​​ For more information visit the event page

Website evolution…

The new CASA website design is live. We have been listening to your feedback. CASA is working hard to be a source of information and inspiration for investors in the agri-business in Africa and Asia – especially those who are seeking a competitive advantage by sourcing from small-scale producers. How are we doing?

Uganda Investment Summit

The Uganda Investment Summit takes place on 7 July. This is an action-orientated opportunity to address existing investment constraints and promote agricultural investment opportunities in Uganda

CASA puts the spotlight on the challenges and opportunities in sourcing from smallholder farmers

Worldwide, there are around 500 million small-scale farmers. They have the potential to be both a supplier base and a market for a wide range of businesses.

A new report, discussed at a recent CASA webinar, assesses the potential commercial and development impact of agribusiness models involving small-scale producer in formal value chains.

Bringing small-scale farmers into supply chains … and getting a slice of a $1 trillion market

1 January 2021 saw trade commencing in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). This opens up a trillion-dollar agri-food sector in Africa. This is new territory for investors and governments. CASA has been exploring how investors and governments can prepare a long-term investment strategy that works for everyone.

What investors can do

There are steps that investors can take in relation to technology, better evaluation and through changes to the provision of technical assistance and contracting.  

Investment analysis & calculations of the looming financing gap for agricultural producers

In Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, an increasingly complex picture is emerging of SMEs in the agri-food sector that struggle to scale because they are unable to access market mechanisms of finance.

Estimates of the shortfall in supply of both formal and informal finance range from USD 100 billion to USD 170 billion per annum.

CASA Malawi and Nepal deliver e-commerce solutions to safeguard smallholders in value chains

The global pandemic has changed shopper behaviour around the world. Once busy markets are closed or avoided to reduce infection risks. CASA has intervened in Malawi and Nepal to show how timely investment can deliver new e-commerce approaches.

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