USAID-BEST recently joined Michigan State University to undertake a Strategic Agricultural Sector and Food Security Diagnostic for Burma. The team examined challenges to enhancing food security and opportunities to stimulate inclusive growth of the agricultural sector. The Burma USAID-BEST Photo Book features images captured during field work in Burma in fall 2012, including some of the people, livelihoods, and landscapes seen during the field visit, as well as some of the research findings.
The South Sudan USAID-BEST Analysis assesses the state of agricultural markets in South Sudan, particularly the southern "Equatorias region," as of July 2012 to inform anticipated FY13 or FY14 food security programming. Topics include current food aid programs, considerations for distributed food aid, local and regional food procurement, cash and voucher program options, and logistics capacity in the new nation of South Sudan. Local production and private markets cannot currently remedy the country's national cereal deficit due to insignificant domestic surpluses, high transport costs, and limited purchasing power. With its independence in 2011, and the closing of both the oil pipelines and the Sudan border in January 2012, South Sudan continues to face market uncertainty, despite the recent accords signed by South Sudan and Sudan in September 2012. Title II development programming appears appropriate for the Equatorias region because, while the region is known for some surplus production, many areas experience high levels of cereal deficits and imports are often not available in these remote zones. The team recommends that any future local or regional procurement focus on cereals, utilizing transoceanic shipments for processed foods. View a Snapshot of the Report.
The Zimbabwe USAID-BEST Analysis assesses the state of agricultural markets in Zimbabwe as of June 2012 to inform anticipated FY13 food security programming. Topics include the use of distributed food aid and complementary LRP/cash/voucher programming, logistics capacity, and the feasibility of monetizing commodities to support market development and provide funds for Title II programs in Zimbabwe. With the stabilization of local markets, implementing partners and donors have become increasingly interested in programming cash and vouchers to further stimulate the economy. The team finds cash and voucher programming can complement in-kind Title II food aid. Although risk management will be critical in the Zimbabwean context, the team highly recommends Title II monetization of raw materials (especially wheat, soybean meal, and/or crude degummed soybean oil) to enable the country's credit-constrained agro-industry to increase throughput and create jobs. The team finds Durban is the most cost-ef fective port to receive food aid for most destinations in Zimbabwe despite its distance, with Beira a potential secondary route through Mutare, especially for eastern Zimbabwe. View a Snapshot of the Report.
Food aid can affect local economies of developing countries. The USAID-BEST project analyzes local markets to assess the impact of a potential food aid program on a country's local economy. USAID-BEST recommendations include practical steps donors and private voluntary organizations can take to ensure food security program design supports local markets to reach critical food security goals. The USAID-BEST project presents these findings and recommendations in a Congressionally mandated report often referred to as a Bellmon analysis. USAID-BEST analyses have resulted in smart, objective, evidence-based food aid programming decisions.
USAID-BEST also provides technical seminars on food aid in the context of local markets. USAID-BEST seminars have informed and increased the in-house technical capacity of US government agencies overseeing food security programs.
The project is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Office of Food for Peace (FFP).
The US government's global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future, invests in inclusive agriculture-led growth and targeted nutrition approaches to address the root causes of hunger and poverty. USAID-BEST is not a Feed the Future-funded project, though our analyses of local production and marketing of staple foods contribute to Feed the Future goals by supplying critical information to food security decision makers. USAID-BEST studies provide recommendations to ensure food aid does not harm local agricultural markets, and that food aid programs are appropriately designed regarding commodity selection and rations in terms of targeted households.