Economic Growth

Driving trade, technology, agriculture, business, and financial services to create jobs, reduce poverty, and enhance food security.

Agriculture and Food Security

We help communities, nations, and regions address food insecurity by championing solutions that lead to resilient and sustainable livelihoods, including increasing agricultural productivity and production, expanding opportunities to increase and diversify incomes, and promoting socially and economically responsible safety nets.

We build a ladder between subsistence-level family farming and small-scale commercial agriculture. We also work to remove policy constraints that, while well-intentioned, tend to exacerbate rather than alleviate food shortages, especially during a crisis.

Our Experts


Alia Afshar-Gandhi is responsible for overseeing a portfolio of economic growth, workforce development, and competitiveness projects in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

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Edwin Berk has made a career of building the businesses of professional services companies where public and private sectors intersect.

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Melanie Bittle is a Principal Global Practice Specialist for DAI’s Agriculture and Market Systems practice.

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Duke Burruss has deep technical expertise in agricultural and rural development, marketing and distribution, competitive value chains, international trade, and public-private partnerships, and has managed numerous complex regional projects in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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Chuck Chopak is a Senior Principal Global Practice Specialist in Agriculture and Market Systems.

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Lief Doerring is a senior international development expert, leader, and portfolio manager with more than 20 years of experience working in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the Pacific.

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Ric Goodman’s focus is on solutions to extreme poverty and vulnerability, often in hard to reach areas. He broadened his work to include the provision of goods and services to populations in remote areas, often in fragile ecosystems and environments, where people’s livelihoods are inherently fragile.

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Don Humpal has worked for more than 30 years on agricultural production, postharvest handling and storage, marketing, and food safety programs, primarily in Africa as well as in Eastern Europe, the Caribbean, and Middle East.

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Bronwyn Irwin is an agricultural economist who specializes in strengthening agricultural market systems to increase competitiveness while preserving natural resources, increasing food security, and integrating gender.

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Tom Lenaghan is a specialist in agricultural value chain and market systems approaches to development.

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Kirsten Pfeiffer leads the design and implementation of complex agriculture market systems and investment facilitation projects.

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Joe Sanders has 18 years of experience, including more than 10 years of full-time management experience on projects funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

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Shannon Sarbo is Deputy Chief of Party for the Policy Leadership, Interactions, Networks, and Knowledge (LINK) project, driving efforts to transform agricultural policy systems worldwide.

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Our Projects


Ghana—Market Development (MADE) in Northern Ghana

This project is part of DAI’s framework contract with the U.K. Department for International Development and is being implemented by Nathan Associates UK. DAI is consulting the project on aspects of climate resilience.

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Guatemala—Nexos Locales

Nexos Locales works with municipalities in Guatemala’s Western Highlands to foster more responsive, inclusive, and effective socio-economic development while reducing local vulnerabilities such as food insecurity and natural disasters. To achieve this goal, the project works at the intersection—or nexos—of good governance.

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Honduras—Technical Assistance to Food Security, Nutrition, and Climate Resilience in the Dry Corridor (EUROSAN)

The work of EUROSAN is focused on the dry corridor in Honduras, home to some of the country’s most marginalised citizens. DAI provides technical assistance under this five-year food security and nutrition project, which is led by Belgium-based Agriconsulting and supported by DAI and Nicaragua-based Simbiosis.

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Mozambique—Innovation for Agribusiness (InovAgro I, II, III)

Innovation for Agribusiness works to increase revenue for small farmers in northern Mozambique by promoting the development of inclusive and sustainable market systems.

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Afghanistan—Regional Agricultural Development Program (RADP–East)

With plans for key infrastructure investments such as electrification and regional airports hubs, the farmers and agribusinesses of eastern Afghanistan are well positioned to take part in the country’s growing economy and benefit from expanding international trade opportunities.

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Feed the Future Southern Africa Seed Trade Project

This project provides technical assistance to help harmonize seed regulations in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), which will allow seed trade across the region, thereby integrating smaller and isolated national markets into one larger SADC market for seeds.

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Southern Africa—Trade and Investment Hub

The USAID Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub engages with partners across Southern Africa to deepen regional economic integration, promote two-way trade with the United States under the African Growth and Opportunity Act, and attract investment that drives commercial expansion within the region and globally.

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Mozambique—Feed the Future Agricultural Innovations (FTF Inova)

The Feed the Future Agricultural Innovations (FTF Inova) project partners with farmers, businesses, and policymakers to explore ways to improve production and increase sales of key cash crops vital to Mozambique’s economy.

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Zimbabwe—Agricultural Growth Programme (ZAGP)

The Zimbabwe Agriculture Growth Programme addresses critical weaknesses in the country’s livestock value chains with innovative approaches to strengthening local institutions, building capacity, and promoting policy reforms that improve livelihoods for smallholder farmers.

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Afghanistan Value Chains (AVC)—Livestock

The Afghanistan Value Chains–Livestock project helps livestock farmers and related agribusinesses to increase productivity and create jobs by expanding into new markets, attracting investors, and improving efficiency.

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Afghanistan Value Chains (AVC)—High Value Crops

Afghanistan Value Chains–High Value Crops works with leading Afghan firms in select agriculture value chains to improve efficiency and profitability, driving rapid growth and creating jobs for men, women, and youth.

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Uganda—Inclusive Agricultural Markets (IAM)

The Uganda Inclusive Agricultural Markets Activity works to increase incomes and improve livelihoods by promoting agriculture-led economic growth.

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Worldwide—Leadership, Interactions, Networks, and Knowledge (LINK)

The LINK project plays an integral role in transforming agricultural policy systems worldwide, thereby improving food security outcomes in line with the U.S. Global Food Security Strategy and advancing countries on their journeys to self-reliance.

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