Facilitating Economic Growth Program
Providing Technical Assistance to Smallholder Enterprises
ACDI/VOCA implemented a $386,815 subaward under the USAID Facilitating Economic Growth in Sri Lanka program through the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA) Leader with Associates mechanism. The prime implementer was the International Executive Services Corps.
The Facilitating Economic Growth in Sri Lanka program contributed to the economic revitalization of the Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka by providing technical services to agribusiness and agricultural trade groups through expert volunteers and consultants to improve the competitiveness of agricultural value chains. ACDI/VOCA fielded five volunteers and nine consultants for clients in areas such as lobbying and advocacy, post-harvest handling, mango production, live feed culture, vaccine formulation, and cage culture fish farming. ACDI/VOCA accumulated over $45,000 in cost share through the use of expert volunteers.
Volunteers Offer Expertise
ACDI/VOCA has 40 years of experience sending professionals overseas as volunteer consultants providing technical assistance with field projects in agribusiness, enterprise development, community development, food security, and financial services. In Sri Lanka, volunteers used their expertise to
- Improve the business environment for export-oriented agricultural development. In June 2010 an ACDI/VOCA volunteer traveled to Sri Lanka to build the lobbying and advocacy capacity of the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM), an international nonprofit organization representing the interests of its international members to improve the business environment in Sri Lanka. To enable the chamber to effectively represent the interests of its members in improving the international business environment in Sri Lanka, the volunteer assessed the current capacity of the AMCHAM and held a workshop on global best practices in lobbying and advocacy for private sector associations and chambers.
- Maximize profits along the fruit and vegetable value chain. ACDI/VOCA worked with two leading supermarkets, Cargills (Ceylon) Limited and John Keells Logistics (Pvt) Ltd, to improve their post-harvest handling practices. The volunteer consultant recommended specific methods of improving sales of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as new value-added products, which will translate into higher prices for the businesses and for farmers.
- Increase incomes for local fisher families. An ACDI/VOCA volunteer worked directly with a medium-sized aquaculture company, Aqua Hatcheries Lanka Ltd. (AHL), to implement a seabass cage culture project in Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province. The volunteer assisted AHL to develop short- and medium-term management approaches, regulatory and marketing strategies and disease protocols to enable AHL to increase sales in both domestic and international markets, thereby increasing incomes for over 3,000 local fisher families.