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Findings and recommendations from the final evaluation of the Harvest II Activity, which was implemented from 2017-2022. The programme  supported the development of three tree crop subsectors (cashew, mango, and longan) as well as vegetable crops.

The approach taken by Harvest II represented a shift in emphasis from previous USAID-funded activities that offered support to agricultural production, moving intentionally toward a demand-driven, market systems development approach. 

The evaluation team was asked to assess the extent and nature of system change that resulted from the activity, and how farms and firms benefited. They also assessed whether and how the project contributed to resilience, climate change mitigation and environmental stewardship.

In conducting the evaluation and preparing the report, the evaluation team considered four questions:

  1. What systemic changes has Harvest II made progress on and to what extent have the changes been sustained and scaled?
  2. How have the systemic changes benefitted market actors, specifically male and female farmers?
  3. How has Harvest II contributed to climate change objectives, aka helping farmers and actors improve resilience to climate change impacts and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. How have the commodities selected contributed to this equation?
  4. What has Harvest II done to prevent negative impacts on the environment when providing grants to firms?

The report's recommendations are summarised under the following headings:

  • Strengthen the process for promoting system change
  • More closely align strategy with the subsector context
  • Explicitly address structural barriers to inclusion
  • Increase the focus on building resilience
  • Enhance monitoring and adaptive management

Related blog:
The puzzle of assessing system change: three lessons learned as evaluators (Part 1)