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Haiti - Agriculture : Study on the reintroduction of cotton as an export crop
28/03/2016 09:35:12

Haiti - Agriculture : Study on the reintroduction of cotton as an export crop
Timberland, Impact Farming and Haiti-based Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA) announced the launch of a new feasibility study exploring the possibility of reintroducing cotton as an export crop for Haitian smallholder farmers. If the study proves successful, the opportunities for organic cotton farming in Haiti are extensive.

With support from the SFA, Timberland and the Clinton Foundation, Impact Farming is undertaking the new study to assess the feasibility of smallholder cultivation of cotton and organic certification or participation in the Better Cotton Initiative. The study could further empower the Haitian smallholder farming community to become an active participant in the global supply chain.

Let's recall that in 2010, Timberland and SFA embarked upon the creation of a powerful sustainable agroforestry model that helped Haitian smallholder farmers plant five million trees in five years while simultaneously improving crop yields, creating a microfinance program and rural farm business and more recently, building an agricultural export market for "superfood" moringa. In fact, last month, U.S. brand Kuli Kuli launched a new line of Moringa Green Energy shots made with moringa sourced from smallholder farmers in Haiti and sold at Whole Foods Market stores nationwide. http://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-16675-haiti-economy-moringa-and-chocolate-from-haiti-on-sale-in-the-us.html

"Our program with Timberland was so successful that we saw the potential to replicate the model in Haiti, by scale it to cotton, rubber or other textiles and resources," said Hugh Locke, co-founder of the Smallholder Farmers Alliance. "This feasibility study is the first step in potentially changing the dynamics of international development and sourcing. It is a true testament to the impact that collaboration, creativity and long-term thinking can have on the future of a country like Haiti"

As part of this study, the SFA is working with Université Quisqueya, Haiti’s leading private university, to explore the establishment of a new smallholder cotton research center that will study cotton growing best practices, undertake field studies and link with universities and research facilities in other countries engaged in similar work.

"Our partnership with the SFA has already resulted in significant benefits for smallholder farmers in Haiti," said Colleen Vien, sustainability director for Timberland. "We’re eager to see the results of the study and potentially become a customer of the farmers we have been working with for years. If successful, this is another great opportunity to bring a part of our supply chain full circle."

HL/ HaitiLibre

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