IFDC’s economic and policy development experts regularly offer policy advice and assistance in such areas as subsidies, trade reforms, financial sector growth and agricultural policies.
Providing Policy Development Assistance
IFDC has provided policy development assistance to numerous countries in the form of market assessment studies, policy dialogue and advice, policy and trade studies and general agricultural market intelligence.
Members of IFDC’s economic and policy development team are experienced in general economics, trade economics, social science/agronomy and sociology, among other disciplines, and have provided economic and policy assistance in the following areas:
Market Assessment Studies
Many developing countries and transitional economies have moved from public sector agro-input supply monopolies to private sector-led input supply systems. However, private sector capacity, in most cases, is not robust or mature enough to support and sustain adequate input supply and distribution – leaving many of these nations’ input markets underdeveloped and dysfunctional. IFDC assists these nations by developing assessments of market conditions and preparing projects to strengthen the functionality of the newly privatized input markets.
Policy and Trade Studies
In order to ensure the development of sound and practical advice, IFDC conducts studies on an ongoing basis regarding policy and trade issues related to agricultural subsidies, environmental protection, food security and the global fertilizer industry.
For example, during 2011-2012, IFDC conducted a study of fertilizer subsidy programs in eight African countries, commissioned by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA). The study analyzed various subsidy models, identified major issues that affect the implementation of programs in sub-Saharan Africa and provided a menu of options to improve the management and implementation of ongoing subsidy programs.
In 2012, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) initiated a study to assess the quality of fertilizer traded in West Africa. Implemented by IFDC’s Marketing Inputs Regionally (MIR) Plus project, the study found that while overall evidence of adulterated products is low, fertilizers blended in the region are more likely to be of poor quality than imported compound products.
Access to information is key to sustainable agro-economic development. To ensure that stakeholders continue to be informed about emerging market opportunities, IFDC staff members have prepared fertilizer outlook studies and maintained detailed data regarding fertilizer use and supply at national, regional and global levels.
Project Design, Development and Support
IFDC designs and implements projects that include strategic market development and policy reform components. This ensures that the Center’s projects are targeted, holistic and inclusive of the critical issues facing the developing countries that IFDC serves.
For example, in West Africa, IFDC’s MIR and MIR Plus projects focused on creating an enabling policy environment while professionalizing farmers and developing regional value chains. Funded by the Netherlands’ Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS), MIR Plus is working with ECOWAS and UEMOA to build a regional regulatory framework that will help develop more vibrant trade in fertilizer, seeds and crop protection products.