Haiti - Agriculture : $3 million to increase and improve the quality of Haitian coffee
20 years ago, coffee was the main agricultural export of Haiti, representing nearly 70% of revenue from foreign sales. A combination of internal and external factors led to a sharp decline in production, compounded by a continuing lack of of investment in agriculture. As a result, coffee exports fell by 191.000 bags in 1990, only 16.000 bags in 2009.
The MIF has recently approved a grant of U.S. 1, 9 million for this project. "The Haitian coffee sector has real potential. This project is designed to meet the various barriers that limit the volume and the quality of the production. Thousands of small farmers will benefit," has informed Nancy Lee the Director General of the MIF. "We are committed in the successful implementation of this project and with the resources we provide with our allies in this effort, we can restore Haiti as a world class producer of coffee."
AFD with a donation of 900,000 euros "will contribute to financing this program that will directly benefit farmers' cooperatives in central and southeastern of Haiti, by completing the activities supported by the MIF in other regions," declared Yves Malpelo, Director of the French agency in Port-au-Prince. "These resources will be concentrated mainly in the training to strengthen the management capabilities of our partners and provide technical assistance and advice on the production and processing of coffee in order to increase the value of their grain."
The project will receive an additional contribution of the Colombian government, which will enable the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia to provide technical assistance to its Haitian counterparts. Neslé, world leader in food will participate in this partnership to support the Haitian farmers to renew their plantations.
The MIF and AFD will work with farmers in areas with high potential, for producing high quality coffee in the departments of North, Central, Southeast and Grand Anse where one emphasizes several major problems in the coffee value chain, which requires to increase production, improve quality control and strengthen the management of cooperatives and farmer associations.
The project will also mobilize resources from other initiatives funded by the IDB in Haiti, as a program of agricultural technology transfer and a mitigation program of major natural hazards.
A key element of this project, will help cooperatives and farmers' associations to improve the process of grinding of the Haitian coffee to reach an acceptable quality and reduce the high rates of rejection. It will also strengthen the management capacity of farmers' organizations to reduce harvesting costs. Processing, transport and export are two times higher than the average costs of Andean cooperatives.
Finally, the project will provide resources to help cooperatives to diversify beyond the commercialization of grain. By offering for example leasing of agricultural machinery and the development of coffee roasting business, for sale on the local market.