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Center for Agricultural Transformation (CAT)

Group of farmers at a field day
Credit: Land O'Lakes Venture37

Cooperative Development Organisation

Implementing Partners and Organisations

Land O’Lakes Venture37, Stellenbosch University, University of Minnesota, Malawi University of Science and Technology

Period of Implementation

January 2019 - July 2024

Geographic scope

Africa: Malawi


$ 12,000,000
€ 11 428 571


Bilateral Aid: Global Affairs Canada, UKAID, USAID, Australian Government

Foundations: Foundation for a Smoke Free World

Multilateral Aid: World Bank Group


Agriculture & Fisheries, Digitalisation, Information and Communication

Type of Activity

Budget support (Grants or Direct Financing), Networking, Technical Assistance & Advisory, Training & Capacity Building, Value Chains / Socioeconomic Circuits


Venture37 and our partners are working to establish the CAT as a Center of Excellence for diversification in Malawi. This is done through opening, strengthening and expanding ready markets that are an alternative to tobacco markets. We focus on value addition businesses that source raw materials from SHFs and partner with identified businesses and provide seed capitol and targeted technical assistance to both the SME and their allied farmers. We also help to expedite the adoption of new and proven technologies through trials and comparison plots at the CAT SmartFarm where we bring together industry and farmers to demonstrate GAP and new technologies to support adoption. Further, to help businesses or farmers answer tough questions, we leverage our university consortium to conduct practical assessments and research and get insights into the hands of farmers: e.g., the CAT is a bridge between academia and the farmers we serve. Finally, we are investing into “data solutions” in partnership with our consortium members and now offer remote sensing and market investment tools that our partners can utilize for critical planting, market and investment decisions.

Project Objectives

To help tobacco SHFs diversify away from tobacco production and into alternate value chains through the creation of read-markets outside of tobacco.

Impact on SDGs

SDG1 - No Poverty
SDG2 - Zero Hunger
SDG5 - Gender Equality
SDG9 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Main Indicators

1) # of tobacco SHFs adopting production of new VCs
2) # of hectares under production of new alternatives to tobacco
3) % increase in farmer income
4) % increase in revenue of supported businesses

Impact Measurement

Adoption Assessments, Impact Assessments, Annual Surveys

Direct beneficiaries

Organisations: 30

Individuals: 60000

Key Tags

Entrepreneurship, Food Security