What is the Agricultural Sector Investment Program (ASIP)

The Agricultural Sector Investment Program (ASIP) was a World Bank Group program focused on agricultural development in Africa. The project approved in March 1995, had a scheduled closing date of December 2001. Designation of nearly 50% of the funds was for agricultural extension, research, and other support activities. The project ended in 2001.

BREAKING DOWN Agricultural Sector Investment Program (ASIP)

Agricultural Sector Investment Program (ASIP) had four primary goals:

  1. Create policy and institutional improvements to the reform in critical areas of agricultural marketing, trade and pricing, food security and land tenure and use.
  2. Encourage public investment to go along with policy and institutional improvements.
  3. Development of the private sector to attract private dollars.
  4. Creation of a rural investment fund of small-scale capital investments in rural areas and matching grant basis to support the privatization of government farms.

The budget for the project was a total estimated cost of $60 million.

ASIP Failure in Zambia

The African countries of Zambia, Angola, Benin, and Senegal participated in the ASIP program. However, the primary focus of the project seemed to focus on Zambia. In the end, the project outcome received an unsatisfactory rating. Upon completion, an assessment determined maintaining the project is unlikely due to it receiving modest institutional development (ID). ID requires the ability of a group or organization to allocate financial and human resources in achieving the given goals. The report noted that the original objectives were not achieved.

It cited an array of challenges and complications that contributed to this disappointing outcome. Restructuring and decentralization of the central ministry took much longer than anticipated, and that was a source of frustration for many of the donors. Unrealistic expectations and an overly broad scope that was impossible to manage further contributed to the challenges that in the end could not be overcome.

ASIP as a World Bank program

The ASIP program was part of several larger programs which were high priorities on the World Bank's primary agenda. These included the Millennium Development Goals project, which had eight primary goals, including eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, reducing child mortality and ensuring environmental sustainability.

Also, ASIP fell under the umbrella of the World Bank’s Corporate Advocacy Priorities and Global Public Goods Priorities programs.

Founded in 1944, the World Bank Group is a cooperative entity, made up of 189 member countries. A Board of Governors represent the members and serves as the actual policymaker. It is the world’s largest development institution of its kind.

The World Bank provides low-interest loans, zero-interest credit, and a variety of grants to developing countries. These programs and resources are designed to help these nations achieve important, attainable results in critical areas such as health, education, economic development, infrastructure building and maintenance, and agriculture.