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Haiti - Agriculture : At school, Haitian children, eat local products
14/01/2012 12:22:02

Haiti - Agriculture : At school, Haitian children, eat local products
In 2011, the World Food Programme (WFP) has purchased 3.000 metric tons of rice to the farmers in Haiti. The bags are then distributed to schools participating in the National School Feeding Programme (NSCP), to prepare the daily hot meals for children.

Knowing they have a buyer, farmers are motivated to grow more while children, for their part, are motivated to go to school where they receive the nutrition they need, and an education. It's a virtuous circle that is at the heart of the strategy of the government and WFP to improve food security in Haiti.

Louis Fresnel, Director of the association of growers of Moreau Paye explains "We have 1.150 members who cultivate about 500 hectares of land [...] This year, we won a tender and we ell most of our production to the WFP and the French government who, then, makes donation of it to WFP. We are also negotiating with a local trader to see if it would be interested to buy from us next year."

Create strong links between NSCP and groups of small farmers is a key goal of the Haitian Ministry of Agriculture for the purpose, at once, to fight against food insecurity and to encourage local production. "This is one of the government priority,"explains Michel Chancy, Secretary of State of Haiti to the animal production. "[...] The volume of these purchases is still relatively low, but we have set the trend and we are determined to continue this policy of local purchasing."

Also in the framework of the program of local purchase of WFP, more than 800,000 bottles of milk purchased from small farmers in Haiti have been distributed to schools in 2011. Over the next three years, WFP plans to purchase 4 million bottles supplementary. Tens of tons of maize meal were also purchased locally since January 2010.

This policy continues successfully, this mechanism increases the competitiveness of markets, supports productivity and increases the income of local farmers. "It's a long-term benefit for the country," add Myrta Kaulard, WFP Representative in Haiti. "This allows to encourage agricultural production. Farmers are sometimes reluctant to produce more because they know that market access is often difficult because of their isolation."

HL/ HaitiLibre / WFP

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