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LESSONS:

Agriculture Sector Development Program

sector: Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Rural Development | country: Viet Nam, Socialist Republic of

The Agriculture Sector Development Program (ASDP) experience suggests that overoptimism about executing agency (EA) readiness and ability to implement programs and projects-a major determining factor in project performance-persists. The significant delay at start-up for both loans exemplified this point.

Some of the question marks relating to the extent of achievement of the ASDP outcome also relate to the original design of the whole program. A lesson that may be drawn is that more rigor is still needed in investment design.

On the other hand, the success of ASDP also demonstrates that, where government ownership and commitment is sufficient, a significant institutional and policy reform program and substantial infrastructure investment program can be successfully implemented within an acceptable time frame.

The project loan likewise showed that it was critical to find an appropriate partner to disburse loans profitably in relatively large numbers to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across Viet Nam in rural areas. In this role, despite difficulties in overall management capacity and specific monitoring aspects, the Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (VBARD) performed well.

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