IFDC assists smallholder farmers to “graduate” from subsistence agriculture to commercial farming – farming as a business – using the Competitive Agricultural Systems and Enterprises (CASE) solution.
The ultimate goal of CASE is to give smallholder farmers the knowledge and tools they need to increase the amount and quality of their crops and then to link them to profitable markets so that they can sell their surplus produce.
With CASE, farmers are integrated into value chains organized around specific crops or commodities. A value chain links the numerous steps that a product takes from the farmer to the ultimate consumer.
In these commodity value chains, IFDC not only helps strengthen and professionalize smallholder farmers but supports growth in the agro-input, processing and marketing industries that facilitate agribusiness expansion.
1. Agribusiness cluster formation – strengthening of local capacity for innovation and entrepreneurship involving a diversified array of stakeholders.
2. Agricultural value chain development – linking farmers to others in the chain emphasizes integration of all stakeholders and strengthens the agribusiness cluster.
3. Enabling institutional environment – capacity building that involves both public and private stakeholders and fosters improvements in the institutional environment for agribusiness development.
CASE programs strengthen the capacities of participants through collective learning and action. This empowerment is another crucial element of CASE. Farmers and local entrepreneurs learn to identify agricultural production and business opportunities and invest in their own future.
Examples of empowerment include helping farmers learn more productive farming techniques and how to be effective advocates for stronger agricultural laws, better services from public organizations, protection and improvement of their rights and transparency at all levels of policymaking.