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Haiti - Agriculture : Positive results for the program "WINNER"
18/10/2010 13:25:30

Haiti - Agriculture : Positive results for the program
Farmers participating in the Watershed Initiative for National Natural Environmental Resources (WINNER), a joint program between the Government of Haiti’s Ministry of Agriculture, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) posted large gains for a number of crops planted in intervention areas as part of WINNER’s spring 2010 campaign.

According to data provided by implementing partner Chemonics, participating farmers increased their production overall by 75 percent. This includes a 139 percent increase for sorghum, 118 percent for corn, 100 percent for beans, and 18 percent for potatoes. To achieve these gains, farmers worked with advisers who provided planting and fertilization advice, as well as different seed mixes.

While visiting the Wynne Farm near Kenscoff, in the presence of Haitian Director General for Agriculture Lyonel Valbrun, USAID Assistant Administrator for the Latin American and Caribbean Region Mark Feierstein welcomed the developments. "USAID is committed to supporting the Haitian government’s plan for the agricultural sector through strategic investments designed to overcome the challenges that have stymied Haiti’s food security for decades, including deforestation, erosion, poor water management, lack of access to seeds, and ineffective farming practices."

Funded by USAID, WINNER is a five-year, $126 million dollar project to build Haiti’s agricultural infrastructure, capacity, and productivity in a sustainable way. WINNER aims to develop watershed management plans, strengthen farmer associations, provide access to expertise and vital supplies (seeds, fertilizers, credit, and tools), and restore protective tree cover. To achieve these goals, it utilizes a network of over 275 farmers associations working in conjunction with local government officials, NGOs, and other entities.

U.S. Ambassador to Haiti Kenneth Merten said, "The U.S. government is committed to providing concentrated and transformative support to the Haitian agricultural sector, given its importance to the Haitian economy, so that Haitian farmers become more productive and more prosperous".

Representing the Haitian Government, Director General Valbrun said, "This project supports the priorities of the Haitian government to increase our national production and to train our farmers."

WINNER is one of several U.S. government-sponsored projects underway in Haiti that target agriculture. Another project includes Economic Development for a Sustainable Environment (DEED), which works in two watersheds including Montrouis and Limbé focusing on environmentally sound economic development through commercial agriculture, alternative livelihood development, natural resource management, and environmental recovery.

HL/ HaitiLibre

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