Small and Medium Agribusiness Development Fund

Project Timing

October 2017 – December 2020


Agriculture and Economic Development




International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

Current Status



The Small and Medium Agribusiness Development Fund (SMADF) is a partnership between public and private investors and aims to stimulate the growth of Small and Medium Agri-businesses (SMAs) by providing them with long-term financing products. The SMADF is financed by the EU, with IFAD acting as an intermediary; by the Ugandan government; and by private investors; and will be administered by a local private investment firm. The initiative also 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.

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. 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 will be based on quantitative data collected from smallholder households, and on qualitative data collected from smallholder households, beneficiary SMAs, and from SMADF staff. Approximately 3,000 households will be interviewed across 10 SMAs, nationwide in Uganda. In each SMA 300 households will be interviewed as part of the quantitative data collection. In addition, five Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) and two Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) will take place in each SMA to verify the findings from the quantitative data and to provide deeper insights on programme experiences.


The second round of data collection is taking place in May-June 2019.