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Alex Elphinstone Programme Director at Adam Smith International


Alex is currently the Africa Programme Director for Adam Smith International. He has 15 years’ experience in agribusiness in Africa, particularly in smallholder agriculture and primary supply chains.

Until recently Alex was the Programme Director of the DFID-funded Climate Smart Agriculture Programme (Vuna) a programme that worked to help transform the agriculture sector in East and Southern Africa so that the majority of smallholder farmers are climate resilient.

Alex has experience in design and management of primary agriculture value chains and extension systems, in Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Brazil.  He has experience in all facets of primary agriculture with British American Tobacco and in a start-up, Yield Uganda Ltd, an agribusiness he founded.  His experience in BAT includes management of a 25,000-smallholder out-grower operation in Uganda; management of a $20m produce buying operation in Uganda; management of sales and logistics of 80,000t of produce in Brazil; and management of a processing factory in Zimbabwe.  At Yield Uganda Ltd, Alex developed supply chain operations that sourced from 4,000 smallholders and supplied 1,000t p.a. of produce to customers in UK, India, China and Uganda. 

Alex has extensive experience in mobile money and electronic payment systems having masterminded the switch from cash payments to electronic payments for 25,000 smallholder tobacco farmers in Uganda.