Agriculture and Rural Development
Rural development allows the improvement of the population’s quality of life. Economic stability can be achieved through actions within the rural areas. In this sense, agriculture is fundamental for the growth of a nation. Thus, it is extremely important to improve the efficiency of resource use, promote R&D in the sector, and reduce the environmental impact. New technologies are needed to increase the productivity levels. Moreover, agriculture and rural development can be used to fights the abandonment and depopulation of certain areas.
NTU offers technical expertise in this field, keeping in mind that sustainability is here a key instrument to increase the welfare of civil society. Moreover, through a dialogue with ministries, public and private actors at all levels, we create new business opportunities for rural investments. The projects we offer embrace several concepts and create solutions not only in business terms, but also at the population level. NTU’s services aim to ensure better rural accessibility, offer training operations to improve the productivity in the agricultural and rural context and promote civil rights and equality.
Mid-Term Review of the Programme for Improving Accessibility of Rural Areas in Eastern Kasai (2017)
Republic Democratic of Congo
Belgian Development Agency (BTC)
The overall objective of the project is to enable the transportation of agricultural products from family farmers in the Kasai-Oriental Province to logistic centers accessible to roads, waterways, and railways and further to the consumption centers as well as improve access to services and mobility of people. The specific objective of the project, which NTU reviewed, is to provide users with a priority multimodal network that is sustainable and practicable in all seasons through establishment of rehabilitation and maintenance mechanisms. The purpose of the NTU’s assignment was to carry out a mid-term review of the project and make recommendations for improvement.
NTU carried out an in-depth assessment of the project consisting of the following components:
- Strengthening of the project management at the provincial level.
- Rehabilitating a multi-modal transportation system that meets provincial development priorities.
- Maintaining a multimodal transport network through local structures.
- Applying good networking practices.
The findings and recommendations made by NTU’s during the project mid-term review contributed to development of a sustainable and practical multimodal network providing farmers with reliable transportation routes of agricultural products to the consumption centers as well as improving people’s mobility in rural areas.
Mid-Term Review of the Intervention “Water Supply and Management contributing to Food Safety” (2016)
Belgian Development Agency (BTC)
The overall objective of the project was to guarantee food security and nutrition for the vulnerable rural households. The specific objective of the project was to improve access to drinking water and ensuring food security for the households in Gaza province. The purpose of the NTU’s assignment was to carry out a mid-term review of the project and make recommendations for improvement.
NTU carried out an in-depth assessment of the project consisting of the following components:
- Building and operationalization in a sustainable manner of the supply facilities of drinking water, sanitation and productive water.
- Collection of reliable data for the elaboration of the economic and social development plan of the district and the province.
- Strengthening water supply and sanitation management and planning capacities of administrations at provincial and district level.
- Applying good practices in terms of strategic planning and construction of new sustainable water and sanitation infrastructures by the administrations at national, provincial, district and local level
- Managing water and sanitation infrastructures in a sustainable and efficient manner and ensuring fair use of water by users.
Assessment and recommendations made by NTU contributed to the improvement of the project that is key for provision of access to drinking water by the rural households and improvement of food security and nutrition in Gaza province.
Support to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on the Development of a Sustainable Aquaculture in Israel (2013)
The overall objective of the project was to support development of sustainable aquaculture that is in harmony with healthy, productive, and resilient marine ecosystems. The purpose of the NTU assignment was to support the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the European Commission in the preparation of an Institutional Twinning Project within the framework of the EU- Israel Action Plan in the field of aquaculture.
Activities carried out by NTU were the following:
- Performed a situational analsyis of aquaculture in Israel and review of the relevant EU Acquis as well as the transposition and implementation measures effective in the EU Member States in order to identify possible gaps in the Israeli legislation and propose appropriate and optimal solutions to be taken in the Twinning Project.
- Collect and review best practices in the EU Member States and propose most appropriate actions for Twinning Project
- Development of a detailled Twinning Project Fiche related to the development of a sustainable Aquaculture, including an estimated budget & timetable for different activities and the Logical Framework matrix, in accordance with the Common Twinning Manual.
- Support to circulation of the draft Twinning Fiche to the 27 EU Member States in an invitation to submit proposals for its joint implementation.
The Twinning Project, formulated by NTU, provided effective support to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for the further development of sustainable aquaculture in Israel.
Review of Sector Policy Support Programme for Economic Stimulation in Rural Area, ENPI 2010 (2011 – 2013)
The overall objective of the ENPI 2010 Sector Policy Support Programme (SPSP) Programme for Economic Stimulation in Rural Area was to contribute to the sustainable economic development of rural areas in the Republic of Moldova and offer a flexible instrument to support the development and anti-poverty agenda of the new government. The purpose of the NTU’s assignment was to analyse the accomplishment of Policy Matrix stipulations and benchmarks for years 2010-2011 and 2012, and to advice the European Commission on payment (total, partial, or non-payment) of the annual instalments of the Budget Support.
Activities performed by NTU included:
- Assessed the changes of political and economic nature affecting the implementation of the sector budget support programme
- Assessed the accomplishment of Policy Matrix stipulations and benchmarks of SPSP for Economic Stimulation in Rural Areas
- Assessed the achievement of target indicators and benchmarks as well as possible deviations and their reasons in the following sector areas: Strengthening the entrepreneurial capacities at local level; Improving business access to Financial Instruments; Development of the support infrastructure for the enterprise activity; Implementation of the gender mainstreaming in the national SME policies; Improving entrepreneurship skills training at vocational-education (VET) schools; Strengthening of regional development policies; Public Finance Management and Good Governance including budget preparation and implementation; external audit strengthening public procurement, and Public administration reform.
NTU’s review provided the European Commission with the necessary information required for sector budget support financing of rural development in Moldova.
Implementation of the Support Programme to the Agriculture Sector (PASAM) in Mali (2008 – 2012)
The overall objective of the PASAM programme was to contribute to the achievement of the strategic objectives of economic growth and poverty reduction set out by the Government of Mali. NTU supported the implementation of the programme which specific objective was to support development of the agricultural sector and economic development in the rural areas.
NTU implemented various activities under the folllowing programme components:
- Institutional Development: Strengthening of capacities of the different institutions in the agricultural sector to implement the Agricultural Orientation Law and to actively take part in the process of institutional reforms.
- Rural Infrastructure: Improvement of the accessibility of rural areas and people’s mobility through conception and development of adequate rural infrastructures in order to support agricultural production and trade and exportation of agricultural products, and strengthening the capacities of local actors in management and maintenance of the infrastructures.
- Local development: Creation of an enabling environment for a sustainable growth of agricultural, pastoral as well as wood-based and fish-based production, and income for rural producers.
Support provided by NTU strengthened the capacity and the role of local communities in rural development planning and coordination and improvement of rural infrastructure resulting into agricultural production and income growth for rural populations in Mali.
Identification Mission for the Improvement of Infrastructure Components of the Sugar Reforms Support Project (SRSP) in Kenya (2008)
The overall objective of the Sugar Reforms Support Project (SRSP) was to Increase the competitiveness of the Kenya sugar industry through improvement of efficiencies and reduction of production costs to improve the incomes and livelihoods of the sugar cane farmers. NTU supported the achievement of the specific objective of the project that was the development of a general infrastructure network in the sugar belts including its maintenance and upgrading in a sustainable manner in order to reduce the transport costs for the sugar producers.
Activities carried out by the NTU under this assignment included:
- Identification and re-definition of classification of sugar access roads for the eight operating Sugar Mills.
- Identification and prioritisation of infrastructure projects for the sugar industry, including a medium-term investment programme supported by a detailed cost/benefit analysis.
- Designed an implementation plan based on a sound economic analysis.
- Identification of the current road maintenance capacities and made recommendations with respect to equipment, institutional management structure and systems, and human resources training requirements to meet the identified gaps.
- Consult with the training institutions, review of their existing curricula and developed structured training programme for road contractors and supervisors for the sugar infrastructure project.
- Identification of environmental concerns related to roads infrastructure development and recommending appropriate mitigation measures.
The investment project identified and prepared by NTU was pivotal to the improvement of rural accessibility and boosting up of the sugar industry and the livelihood of the rural populations in Kenya.
Technical Assistance for the Preparation of the Kadugli Talodi Market Access Project (2008)
The overall objective of the Kadugli – Talodi Market Access Project (KTMAP) was ensure the food security, reduce the vulnerability and increase the income of the rural households in Kadugli and Talodi Localities and Kadugli County. The specific objective of the project was the rehabilitation of the Kadugli-Talodi feeder road ensuring the all-year round transportation of input supplies and agricultural production between the key production areas and rural and urban markets, in coordination with a set of Capacity Building interventions including the development of Farmer Field Schools and capacity building of state and local administration. The purpose of NTU assignment was to support both the National Authorising Officer (NAO) and the EC Delegation in the successful and timely launching of this project.
Activities carried out by NTU included:
- Advice on the best technical options to achieve the project objectives within the existing budget.
- Finalisation of a supply tender dossier for the procurement of the equipment needed by the NMAC for carrying out the necessary demining.
- Preparation of the terms of reference for a service contract to develop the design of the Kadugli-Talodi feeder road, preparation of the related works tender dossier and work supervision tender dossier.
The assistance provided by NTU at the project initial stage was instrumental to quality preparation of the Kadugli – Talodi Market Access Project, which was critical to ensuring the food security and reduce the vulnerability of the rural households in selected provinces of Sudan.
Support to Khanabad Irrigation Scheme Rehabilitation & Relieve Bottlenecks Programmes (2006 -2007)
The overall objective was to contribute to the improvement of the living conditions of the Afghans thereby promoting agricultural and rural development, food security and natural resource management. The propose of the NTU assignment was to support the Ministries of Public Works (MPW) and Energy and Water (MEW) with the preparation and implementation of "Khanabad Irrigation Scheme Rehabilitation" (2006) and "Relieve Bottlenecks to Rural Development in North-Eastern Afghanistan" (2007) programmes.
NTU’s activities included:
- Design to a level of detail appropriate for tendering of the Sarobi – Tagab – Nijrab – Mahmud Ragi road of some 62 km to be rehabilitated to an asphalted main road standard, preparation of the works tender dossier followed by assistance to tender evaluation and construction supervision.
- Preparation of works tender dossier for the irrigation scheme, assistance in the tender evaluation and construction supervision.
- Design to a level of detail appropriate for tendering of the power plant and transmission and distribution network, preparation of the works tender dossier followed by assistance to tender evaluation and construction supervision.
Support provided by NTU was pivotal to successful completion of key investment programmes in the rural areas, which brought about significant improvements in the livelihoods of Afghan local communities.