Photo credit: Huxta for Mastercard Foundation

Catalysing Agriculture by Scaling Energy Ecosystems (CASEE)

In 2019, Shell Foundation (SF) and the UK Government launched a £30m, seven-year partnership to accelerate access to energy-enabled solutions for smallholder farmers and agricultural SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

Africa: man showing two ladies biodigester system

Addressing Key Barrriers

The programme works with companies that collectively address a range of barriers facing farmers and value chain actors, to stimulate the adoption of energy enabled assets for productive use among low-income, rural households.

Specifically, CASEE supports businesses that collectively address four key barriers:

  • Access to Resources
  • Access to Finance and Insurance
  • Access to Knowledge
  • Access to Finance
Two men talking in a muddy field


The programme’s ecosystem approach is based on SF’s experience catalysing the household energy sector, which has demonstrated the need to directly support complementary issues facing the sector, such as consumer financing and last mile distribution. By doing so, the programme aims to:

  • Strengthen agriculture and food systems, by developing and scaling 15-18 innovative businesses that boost farmers’ incomes and resilience
  • Mobilise £110m of additional funding into the sector
  • Improve the lives of 1m people
  • Generate robust evidence on the role of patient grant capital and pathways to scale, to de-risk the wider sector


Access to productive-use energy can enable smallholder farmers to enhance agricultural output and profitability with reduced environmental costs and increased climate change resilience.

Dan Haglund, Agriculture Research Team | Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office