Launched in October 2010, the EAT Project supports U.S. Government agencies tackling the challenges of agricultural development and food security. Building on existing analytical methodologies, including AgCLIR and MicroCLIR, the EAT Project is designed to identify and alleviate legal, regulatory and institutional constraints to agricultural growth in countries and sub-regions where the USG operates. The EAT Project allows missions to access services including technical analysis, program strategy and design, implementation assistance and capacity building support. The EAT Project also provides leadership in the development community on the legal, regulatory and institutional issues most impacting businesses in the agricultural sector.
In developing countries, the agri-business environment is crucial for generating employment and income opportunities. Economic growth originating in the agricultural sector is more than twice as effective in reducing poverty as growth originating in other sectors, ultimately leading to improved local and regional food security. Agri-business provides employment not only in farming, but also in handling, packaging, process, transporting and marketing of food and agricultural products. A focus on the enabling environment can help identify systemic limitations that inhibit productivity improvements and market access, such as export delays, input monopolies, overregulation, and inappropriate taxations. Agri-enabling analysis, through tools such as AgCLIR can help identify these constraints and recommend concrete, practical actions that can be implemented to improve agribusiness and its offshoots. The agri-enabling environment can be viewed across four areas:
Legal Framework: How closely do existing laws conform to international standards for promotion and governance of private investment? How well do they respond to commercial realities? Do embedded incentive structures track with social and economic objectives?
Implementing Institutions: How well do public sector implementers and enforcers carry out their duties in terms of efficiency, transparency, and predictability? Does institutional behavior create barriers to participation and predictability
Supporting Institutions: How deeply rooted in civil society are the laws and institutions that govern economic life? Do the many needed individual parts of the ‘system’ exist and reflect standard international practice, and if so, do they work together efficiently
Social and Market Dynamics: How well does the legal system respond to users’ evolving needs? How receptive to change are the key stakeholders? What forces or factors govern the pace and direction of change in the system?
Central to the EAT program’s mandate is rigorous technical analysis. EAT helps missions analyze obstacles to the startup and growth of agribusinesses and provide recommendations to address priority policy reforms needed to support ‘Feed the Future’ and other countries. The EAT program uses the following analytical tools to pinpoint regional problems facing agricultural value chains and other focus areas, including gender, climate change, and agricultural value chains.
- AgCLIR looks at the enabling environment as a dynamic system of laws, institutions, and social and market dynamics to determine the root causes of the most critical impediments to the startup and growth of local agribusinesses.
- Doing Agribusiness , a sector-specific version of the World Bank’s influential Doing Business survey, focuses on the high-level, quantifiable indicators that can be compared across countries to frame reform efforts.
- MicroCLIR uses the AgCLIR methodology to delve deeply into one particular value chain, such as a particular commodity or agricultural input.
- AgBEE Remote Survey - Agriculture Business Enabling Environment remote surveys are a quick, low cost survey of the agribusiness enabling environment, with a focus on recurring themes from past AgCLIR and MicroCLIR assessments, such as trade delays, fertilizer distribution, seed certification and land registration.
The EAT program can respond quickly to the full spectrum of mission needs, whether as a stand-alone request or to support the implementation of recommendations coming out of AgCLIR-type analyses. Through EAT, missions can access highly qualified experts able to support any number of mission needs, including:
- Short- and long-term support for existing projects;
- Monitoring and evaluation, stakeholder mapping and engagement;
- Training logistics and event facilitation;
- Supporting mission and program strategy development;
- Designing Monitoring and evaluation frameworks;
Developing and delivering training modules is a core function of the EAT program’s expert pool and the EAT team has ready-made training modules for local or international personnel, focused on the agribusiness enabling environment. The EAT team can also design specialized trainings for USAID missions, implementing partners and local institutions to more effectively support legal, regulatory and institutional reform. In addition, the EAT program can tailor training for local and regional think tanks, universities, government counterparts, private sector associations and NGOs that seek to identify and reduce constraints to agriculture-led growth and food security.
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- About E3/EG
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