Small and Medium Agribusiness Development Fund

Project Timing

October 2017 – December 2022


Agriculture and Economic Development




International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

Current Status



The Small and Medium Agribusiness Development Fund (SMADF) is a $22.6 million investment fund aiming to address a major barrier to rural development in Uganda. The Fund is a partnership between public and private investors and service providers which aims to stimulate the growth of Small and Medium Agri-businesses (SMAs) across Uganda by providing them with long-term financing products. SMAs have the potential to drive growth in developing countries, but are often too large to avail of microfinance products and too small or not sufficiently formalised to qualify for bank finance.

There are a number of stakeholders involved in the SMADF, including the Fund’s investors: the European Union (EU) and the Ugandan National Social Security Fund (NSSF); the implementing partner of the BDS: KPMG; and Pearl Capital Partners (PCP) who is managing the Fund:. IFAD was tasked with leading the impact assessment of the Fund through its Research and Impact Assessment (RIA) division and EDI Global is partnering with IFAD as the data collection partner. 

The aim of the SMADF is to invest in SMAs so that they expand their operating capacity, which is then expected to increase the demand for smallholder goods, services and labour, thus stimulating an increase in smallholder income.  The initiative provides financial incentives for beneficiary SMAs to access Business Development Services (BDS) for themselves and to supply BDS to smallholder farmers with whom they are economically linked.  SMAs are a key part of the rural economic landscape of developing countries and the premise of the SMADF is that their growth will stimulate livelihood gains to the local economy, particularly smallholder farmers. Loans will be administered to 25 SMAs between 2017 and 2022 at a rate of around five per year.

The impact assessment is based on quantitative data collected by EDI Global’s field staff from smallholder households, and on qualitative data collected from smallholder households, beneficiary SMAs, and from SMADF staff.  The survey covered a total sample of 3,000 households interviewed across 5 SMAs, nationwide in Uganda. Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) and Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) were conducted in each SMA to verify the findings from the quantitative data and to provide deeper insights on programme experiences.


The data collected by EDI Global have been used by the IFAD team to develop the following Baseline reports:

Uganda: Impact Assessment of the Small and Medium Agribusiness Development Fund (SMADF). Baseline Report No. 1: Sesaco Ltd.

Uganda: Impact Assessment of the Small and Medium Agribusiness Development Fund (SMADF), Baseline Report No. 2: Central Coffee Farmers Association (CECOFA)