Bangladesh Policy and Regulatory Assessment
In line with the objectives of the Government of Bangladesh and the goals laid out in the U.S. Global Food Security Strategy, USAID/Bangladesh plans in FY 2020 to award a five-year policy Activity of approximately $10-15 million aimed at improving the business enabling environment for private sector agriculture. To that end, USAID/Bangladesh has requested that the LEAP III team assess the key policy and regulatory constraints to private sector led agricultural and agribusiness development. The Assessment will identify and diagnose key policy impediments for agriculture. Specifically, the Assessment will focus on:
(1) identifying, and prioritizing key laws, regulations, and institutions affecting the agribusiness environment that are either present or lacking;
(2) recommending approaches for USAID/Bangladesh to strengthen laws and influence policy and regulatory processes that will enhance private sector-led growth in the agriculture sector; and
(3) designing a SOW for the new Agriculture Policy Activity in consultation with Mission. The team also assessed the current state of regulation, reform, and main issues in four key pillar areas: 1) seeds, 2) food safety, 3) social safety nets, and 4) nutrition.
The team found that while changes in national policy and legal acts may be required to achieve reform, a regulatory delivery approach can also trigger reform through work with lower levels of the Government of Bangladesh. This can include improving bureaucratic habits and office procedures, increasing use of information technology and process tracking data, and simplifying where and how often forms have to be filed or licenses renewed. Based on the excellent feedback received from USAID/Bangladesh, the team was asked to conduct a follow-on assessment to dive deeper into social safety nets and nutrition and the role private sectors play in Bangladesh. The team also interviewed additional stakeholders and conducted desk research.