Institute for Economic Stability Publishes New Case Studies in Agriculture and Banking

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Research Institute focused on applying lessons learned in economic development in conflict affected states publishes research on agriculture and banking initiatives in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Institute for Economic Stability, a nonprofit research institute based in Washington, D.C., today announced the publication of two papers focused on banking and agriculture as part of its series on economic development in conflict-affected nations.

The agriculture paper provides five case studies of agricultural projects carried out by a Department of Defense agricultural team in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2008 and 2011. The cases cover agricultural assessments in 14 Iraqi provinces, the restart of agricultural industries in post-conflict Iraq and Afghanistan and efforts to improve human capital and rebuild infrastructure for Iraq’s troubled agricultural sector. The cases illustrate the importance of a comprehensive supply-chain approach, extensive time working directly with local agricultural leaders and models of collaboration with global agricultural firms in restoring food security and a vibrant agricultural economy in post-conflict environments.

The banking paper explores the ways in which the military used its sizeable buying power to influence the use of Electronic Funds Transfers (EFTs) with Iraqi private banks and Iraqi private firms. The same Iraqi private banks later formed a consortium, which enabled the issuance of MasterCard branded credit cards and banking interoperability in Iraq. Drawing on the extensive experience with credit and international banking standards by an impressive cadre of banking professionals who operated in Iraq and Afghanistan, the paper also identifies obstacles to increasing bank lending in conflict-affected states.

"Our goals with these studies is to provide a reference model for the many development professionals working in banking and agricultural initiatives in conflict-affected nations," said Gerry Brown, IES’ executive director. "Improved agricultural conditions and access to credit and banking services are foundational components of a revitalized economy. That, we know, has been proven time and again in the course of our nation’s engagements in the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa and beyond."

Funded by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation in partnership with Texas A&M AgriLife Research, the Institute’s initial efforts focus on documenting programs in Iraq and Afghanistan that have increased economic activity since 2006. The Institute further will look at applying those lessons to future economic development initiatives in conflict affected nations and fragile states.

About Texas A&M AgriLife Research

Texas A&M AgriLife Research is the state’s premier research and technology development agency in agriculture, natural resources, and the life sciences. Headquartered in College Station, AgriLife Research has a statewide presence, with scientists and research staff on other Texas A&M University System campuses and at the 13 regional Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Centers. (

About the Institute for Economic Stability

The Institute for Economic Stability (IES) is a nonprofit research organization located in the Washington, D.C. area. The IES mission is to analyze contributing factors to poverty and instability in fragile states, and address these factors through research and ongoing project implementation in conflict-affected nations. IES was founded by individuals with government, business, academic and non-profit experience in fragile states.


Gerry Brown
Executive Director
Institute for Economic Stability

301 678 9385

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