Non-AFRE Co-Principle Investigators: David Franklin, Sigma One Corporation
Project Name: Strengthening Agricultural Marketing Research, Policy Analysis, and Capacity Building in Ecuador.
Donor: Agency for International Development, MSU was subcontracted via Sigma One Corporation
Contract No: Unknown
Account No: Unknown
Key MSU Faculty: Harold M. Riley, Lindon Robison, David Tschirley, Michael Weber, Department of Agricultural Economics, MSU
Documents: (Click here to view)
Project Goals: To conduct applied research and capacity building efforts to support the Agricultural Sector Reorientation Project in Ecuador
Cooperating Institutions: Ecuador, Institute of Agricultural Strategies (IDEA), Sigma One Corporation, the Policy Analysis Unit in the Ministry of Agriculture of Ecuador (MAG), Eng. Neptali Bonifaz, the Executive Director of IDEA
With the election of Leon Febres Cordero as President in 1984, Ecuador began a period of experimentation with more market-oriented economic policies. Exchange rates were freed, and certain interest rate ceilings were eliminated. Commercial policy, including tariffs, import and export subsidies and restrictions, and quotas, was selectively liberalized. The liberalization push in the agricultural sector was strongly supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development, which designed the Agricultural Sector Reorientation Project to support and guide the process. A Policy Analysis Unit was created in the Ministry of Agriculture (MAG) to supply timely information and policy advice to the Minister and other decision makers. To encourage private sector participation in the reforms, the Agricultural Strategies Institute (IDEA) was created within Fundacion Ciencia, a private research foundation. IDEA attempted to bridge the gap between the private and public sectors in Ecuador, conducting studies and promoting informed dialogue between the two. Sigma One Corporation, a private consulting firm, was contracted to provide technical assistance on macroeconomic, marketing, and other policy issues. Sigma One sub-contracted two other institutions to support its activities. The Department of Agricultural Economics at Michigan State University, in addition to supporting Sigma One's technical assistance and applied research efforts, provided MS and Ph.D. level Agricultural Economics training for two Ecuadorian students through an AID scholarship program. Economic Perspectives Incorporated, another private consulting firm, provided short-term technical support to the project.