Clustering agri-businesses to improve farmers' income and food security in the Great Lakes Region

CDI, in cooperation with local and international partners, supports the development of agribusiness clusters in the Great Lakes Region, strengthening the market position of small-scale farmers leading to reduced poverty and increased food security.

The 2nd Catalyse Accelerated Agricultural Intensification for Social and Environmental Stability (CATALIST) project’s main objective is to significantly improve food security in the Great Lakes Region, with the goal of increased peace and stability through increased wealth, trade and exchanges.

The project is led by the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) and adopts IFDC’s Competitive Agricultural Systems and Enterprises (CASE) approach, which focuses on the development of sustainable and private sector-based competitive agricultural production systems.

CASE is an integrated approach that incorporates value chain development, institutional economics, market system development, transaction economics and rural innovation systems. It is a grassroots approach that advocates the inclusion of actors in specific geographical areas on specific value chains, with clear product-market combinations. Following this approach, the project considers farmers and their organizations as (small) entrepreneurs and not as beneficiaries or target groups and considers ‘market pull’  and ‘production push’ dynamics of value chain development.

The project follows on from the first CATALIST project, which affected over 200,000 small-scale farmers. The CATALIST-2 project has higher ambitions, and seeks to develop mega-clusters of agribusinesses, affecting over one million farmers.

Some of the expected results of the project are:

  1. Increased access to and use of financial services by actors within agribusiness clusters
  2. Improved business-to-business relations, based on enhanced professional skills and SMART economic objectives
  3. Improved farm production and processes, based on enhanced seed access and use, the application of Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM) and improved post-harvest processes.
  4. Increased direct and indirect linkages with national and international agro-companies.
  5. Enhanced stakeholder engagement in policy and business environments to capitalise on lessons learnt and innovations.