Sri Lanka – Facilitating Economic Growth Program

Providing Technical Assistance to Smallholder Enterprises

ACDI/VOCA works in Sri Lanka to enhance access to new markets for agricultural production. This helps to increase incomes and mitigate conflict through shared economic growth.

To achieve this goal, ACDI/VOCA implements a $386,815 subaward under the USAID Facilitating Economic Growth in Sri Lanka program through the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA) Leader with Associates mechanism. The prime implementer is the International Executive Services Corps.

The Facilitating Economic Growth in Sri Lanka program contributes to the economic revitalization of the Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka by providing technical services to agribusiness and agricultural trade groups through expert volunteers and consultants to improve the competitiveness of agricultural value chains. ACDI/VOCA has fielded seven volunteers and six consultants for clients in areas such as lobbying and advocacy, post-harvest handling, mango production, live feed culture, vaccine formulation, and cage culture fish farming. ACDI/VOCA has accumulated over $45,000 in cost share through the use of expert volunteers.

Volunteers Offer Expertise

ACDI/VOCA has 40 years of experience sending professionals overseas as volunteer consultants providing technical assistance with field projects in agribusiness, enterprise development, community development, food security and financial services. In Sri Lanka, volunteers have used their expertise to

  • Improve the business environment for export-oriented agricultural development. In June 2010 an ACDI/VOCA volunteer traveled to Sri Lanka to build the lobbying and advocacy capacity of the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM), an international nonprofit organization representing the interests of its international members to improve the business environment in Sri Lanka. To enable the chamber to effectively represent the interests of its members in improving the international business environment in Sri Lanka, the volunteer assessed the current capacity of the AMCHAM and held a workshop on global best practices in lobbying and advocacy for private sector associations and chambers.

  • Maximize profits along the fruit and vegetable value chain. ACDI/VOCA worked with two leading supermarkets, Cargills (Ceylon) Limited and John Keells Logistics (Pvt) Ltd, to improve their post-harvest handling practices. The volunteer consultant recommended specific methods of improving sales of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as new value-added products, which will translate to higher prices for the businesses and for farmers.

  • Increase incomes for local fisher families. An ACDI/VOCA volunteer worked directly with a medium-sized aquaculture company, Aqua Hatcheries Lanka Ltd. (AHL), to implement a seabass cage culture project in Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province. The volunteer assisted AHL to develop short- and medium-term management approaches, regulatory and marketing strategies and disease protocols to enable AHL to increase sales in both domestic and international markets, thereby increasing incomes for over 3,000 local fisher families.


After decades of ethnic war, rehabilitation activities on road networks, infrastructure, housing and resettlement are progressing steadily in the Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka. The service and financial sectors are expanding, but significant development-oriented investments are still needed to achieve a sustainable impact on employment.

For more information, contact Chris Hert at

Updated: 5/14

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