Our Work

Agriculture-Led Growth

IESC has fostered agricultural development in the economically developing world since our founding in 1964. Today, by facilitating technical assistance, mutually beneficial linkages, and access to information, technologies, and markets, we address constraints to food systems; strengthen inclusive market systems; promote sustainable management of natural resources; improve agricultural production in response to market demand; expand opportunities for smallholder farmers; and strengthen agribusinesses. Through our efforts, we create rural jobs and increase incomes while strengthening resilience to shocks and improving food security and nutrition.

Program Examples

Dominican Republic

Exporting Quality (EQ)

Funder: USDA Food for Progress

Program Overview: EQ increased productivity and sales for high-value fruit and vegetable value chains (e.g., pineapple, avocado, cocoa). The program used a combination of technical assistance and intensive farmer training to ensure that food products being sold in local and export markets were grown, harvested, and handled under sanitary conditions with accountability.

Relation to IESC Expertise: Under EQ, IESC helped improve five high-value horticultural products, including avocado, cocoa, pineapple, and greenhouse and Asian vegetables, and ensured that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) met international food safety and quality standards. IESC generated targeted end-market studies and branding and promotional strategies in conjunction with trade missions and international trade shows that resulted in over $130 million in new sales and sustainable fresh fruit and vegetable market linkages. IESC also exponentially expanded traceability systems and provided extensive farmer training to ensure that exported food products are grown, harvested, and handled under accountable sanitary conditions.

Sri Lanka

Market-Oriented Dairy (MOD)

Funder: USDA Food for Progress

Program Overview: MOD supports farmers and other dairy enterprises to meet the demands of the local dairy sector in a commercially sustainable way. The program implements activities to increase the production levels and sales value of milk produced by participating farmers; improves the availability of and access to quality inputs for dairy farming; and improves dairy product safety through adherence to proper feeding regimens, management practices, and technology.

Relation to IESC Expertise: MOD employs a market-driven approach with local actors across the milk value chain to facilitate investment, strengthen buyer-seller relationships, improve local extension services, and build local trade association capacity. IESC empowers farmers, fosters entrepreneurship, and enables public/private collaboration to deliver sustainable locally led solutions. Since 2018, IESC’s implementation of MOD has resulted in over $53 million in sales by project-supported stakeholders, a 57% increase in milk production, and nearly $5 million in loans accessed. IESC has fostered partnerships with all 17 major dairy processing companies and collectors in the country to improve market access and extension for farmers.

Guyana, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, and Dominica

Caribbean Agricultural Productivity improvement Activity (CAPA)

Funder: USAID

Program Overview: CAPA engages the private sector and local and regional institutions to improve smallholder market-led production of high value fruit and vegetables. Through our interventions we strengthen farmer livelihoods and mitigate increases in poverty, food security, and malnutrition across the USAID/Eastern and Southern Caribbean (ESC) region. Our integrated value chain approach stresses locally led development by collaborating with agribusinesses, CARICOM institutions, local NGOs, and farmer organizations to identify capacity gaps, design interventions, and deliver gender responsive technical assistance.

Relation to IESC Expertise: CAPA enhances food security by increasing farmer productivity, improving access to inputs, strengthening market linkages, and improving public/private extension systems. IESC works with smallholders in target countries to facilitate demonstration-based technical assistance to adopt improved practices and technologies, including Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA), enabling farmers to meet the demands of domestic, regional, and international markets. We work with buyers, including agro-processors, exporters, and retailers to improve market linkages for smallholders and increase the domestic and regional availability of nutritious fruit and vegetable products.

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