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News and resources

SDU Articles

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7 June 2021
Article: Gender equality training for more successful smallholder production

This article highlights the success of Taylor Winch Tanzania in delivering the Gender Action Learning System (GALS), a community-led empowerment methodology that aims to give smallholder producers – particularly women – greater control over their lives.

Insight
17 March 2021
Five Years of the SDU: A series of celebratory events

To mark 5 years of the SDU, AgDevCo is convening a series of celebratory virtual events between Wednesday 24th March and Friday 26th March 2021. 

News
16 October 2020
Article: Systems of success - effective aggregation and scaling in smallholder farmer schemes

AgDevCo’s Smallholder Development Unit (SDU) has been convening periodic virtual knowledge sharing sessions for its partner businesses, as we all work to understand the implications of the Covid-19 pandemic for African agribusiness and their smallholder producers and customers. 

Insight
29 September 2020
Case Study: Engaging with Smallholder Farmers: The Business Case

Our partners share how their smallholder farmer schemes have presented significant commercial opportunities.

Insight
29 September 2020
Case Study: Drivers of Change in Northern Uganda - Exploring the influence of Village Savings and Loans Associations among smallholder farmers.

This report summarises the findings from a qualitative impact assessment carried out with smallholder farmers to investigate the impact of GADC/SDU's VSLA programme. 

Insight
30 June 2020
Article: Using radio to reach smallholder farmers

Radio offers significant opportunities to agribusinesses and other organisations to communicate with smallholder farmers. 

Insight
18 March 2020
Can food sprays help smallholder farmers control pests? Experience from Uganda

The Gulu Agricultural Development Company (GADC) in northern Uganda works with tens of thousands of smallholder farmers who produce organic cotton. Organic production is often challenged by the large numbers of pests which attack the crop, notably the African bollworm, aphids and various species of sucking bugs. 

Insight
24 July 2018
AgDevCo’s Smallholder Development Unit to impact a further 58,500 smallholder farmers in Ghana, Malawi, Uganda and Zambia

The SDU operates alongside AgDevCo’s core activity of providing long-term debt and equity to SMEs.

News
12 July 2018
Baseline Study: Tropha

With support from AgDevCo’s Smallholder Development Unit (SDU), the scheme aims to benefit over 4,000 farmers. Over the course of three years, household incomes are expected to increase by up to $200 per annum. This baseline survey indicates the poverty rate of Tropha households (37%) is still slightly higher than the national poverty rate (32%), and the poorest of the poor are more likely to be living in female-headed households.

Insight
6 June 2018
Blog post: Three practical steps agribusinesses can take to help close the gender gap in smallholder outgrower schemes

In this blog post, Sandi Roberts explains three practical steps agribusinesses can take to help close the gender gap in smallholder outgrower schemes. 

Insight
18 April 2017
AgDevCo SDU Case Study April 2017

AgDevCo, in collaboration with The MasterCard Foundation and UKAID, launched the Smallholder Development Unit (SDU) to work with rural agricultural enterprises to develop equitable outgrower schemes that will boost productivity and incomes for half a million smallholder farmers.

Insight
18 April 2017
Case study: AgDevCo’s SDU presents our case study which investigates the practical lessons and underlying principles of success of six smallholder outgrower schemes.

The schemes featured represent a cross-section of value chains, from high-value horticulture (bananas) to commodity crops (maize and sugarcane), small livestock (broilers), and seed (flowers). Understanding the lessons of these schemes and why they have been successful will help to inform the design of new outgrower schemes, minimise mistakes, and ensure both companies and growers reap the benefits. 

Insight