Specialist support

Applying expertise to support investments and technical assistance

We offer ongoing specialist support to our investees via our in-house specialist teams. During the investment process, these teams work with investees from the outset of our investment to our agreed exit or reinvestment, supporting these businesses across a range of disciplines. These teams also support the design and delivery of our technical assistance services – helping to identify and design projects that meet businesses’ needs and challenges, as well as delivering in-kind support to promote technical skills and knowledge transfer.

Value-adding teams

Our specialist teams are essential to the success of our investments and technical assistance programmes, as their services add unique value in developing sustainable agribusinesses. Depending on the outcomes of risk and cost-benefit assessments for each investment and programme, we use our teams where they are most needed during the course of our investment and technical assistance processes – from pre-screening and due diligence work to compliance audits, best practice activities and specific technical support.

Commercial agriculture team

Agriculture and technical professionals, with deep knowledge of Africa, working alongside the investment teams to advise on risk, compliance, agronomy and crop protection. Post-investment, the team promotes responsible investment criteria and supports investees in technical management and investment execution. Through our technical assistance programmes, the team is able to deliver expert advice on a wide range of issues, such as dynamic agroforestry and integrated pest management.

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) team

Advises on proportionate good practice ESG systems, making businesses more resilient, impactful and investment-ready. Includes compliance, social and safeguarding, environment, food safety, biosecurity, health and safety, risk management, and governance issues.

Smallholder development team

Provides technical and project management expertise to promote business models, processes, and products that enable catalytic relationships between agribusinesses and smallholder farmers. The team seeks to de-risk and improve the overall efficiency of the areas of businesses that work directly with smallholders, whether as producers, intermediaries, or customers.

Between 2015 and 2021, this work was delivered through a dedicated facility called the Smallholder Development Unit (SDU), with support from the Mastercard Foundation and UK Aid. Information on the SDU’s work and its results during this period can be found here.