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Definition: Agricultural Sector Investment Program (ASIP)
ASIP is an integrated sector-wise program aimed at using scarce financial resources that focuses on agricultural development and food security in developing countries. The implementation of this program started by the World Bank, was first tried out in Zambia, Africa. The aim is to integrate investment projects, sharing of technical knowledge and expertise, training and policy implementation so as to develop a general government and/or donor investment program.
At its initial stage, the priorities and objectives of ASIP were to:
• Ensure national food security
• Maintain and improve existing agricultural resource base
• Generate income and create employment by meeting domestic and export potential
• Promote sustainable industrial development
• Expand the contribution of agriculture to the nation’s balance of payments.
Focussing on national and individual household food security would promote the cultivation of food crops while emphasis on realising the export potential would result in greater attention towards the cultivation of cash crops. In order to meet the above mentioned objectives, ASIP has four main components:
• Policy and institutional reforms
• Public investment to support institutional improvements
• Incentivise the private sector to encourage their participation in sustainable development
• Establishment of a rural investment fund to provide small-scale financial assistance in rural areas
The role of ASIP is to develop a sustainable rural financial system to provide financial services in rural communities so as to foster the privatization of government farms.
The government of Zambia in 1996, participated in the ASIP program with the objective of promoting public institutions as agents for providing financial and technical assistance in the fields of agricultural research, animal sciences, training and development of rural institutions.