In September 2010, USAID contracted SEGURA Consulting, under the GBTI II IQC, to conduct an assessment of the constraints to doing agribusiness in selected Central American and Caribbean countries.
Our project team carried out studies in Guatemala, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic. The methodology included semi-structured personal interviews, focus groups and agricultural producer surveys, as well as a review of documents and literature pertaining to specific political, institutional, cultural and other constraints to agribusiness in each country. The predominant issues that were identified and analyzed included lack of market access and competitiveness, weak to non-existent essential government services (e.g., extension, research and sanitary/phyto-sanitary inspections and certifications), limited access to credit, little knowledge and limited technology transfer to small producers, absence of clear land tenure, and inadequate infrastructure (including road networks, energy supply, irrigation, and cold storage facilities). The impact of climate change was also identified as a major constraint.
These assessments included both operational and strategic recommendations for the individual USAID missions’ consideration in the development of their short to medium term programs. A cross-cutting report was also prepared that compared and contrasted the findings of the three countries. The project was completed in early 2012 with a presentation of the cross-cutting report to USAID.