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Haiti - Agriculture : Towards the resumption of cotton cultivation
16/05/2018 08:44:06

Haiti - Agriculture : Towards the resumption of cotton cultivation
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Ministry of Agriculture Natural Resources and Rural Development (MANRDR) and the Brazilian Embassy in Haiti through the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC) organized a workshop at the beginning of May in Port-au-Prince to identify the priorities of the Haitian Government, which has expressed its interest in reviving and developing the cotton sector with the support of International Cooperation, as well as key players who could contribute the revival of this sector as part of a Trilateral South-South Cooperation Haiti-FAO-Brazil.

Recall that in the 1950s, Brazilian cotton varieties arrived in Haiti, thus promoting the development of the sector. But while cotton was the fourth largest agricultural export of Haiti, its cultivation was abandoned in the late 80s, among others for parasitic problems, especially the cotton weevil.

Cecilia Malaguti do Prado, General Coordinator of South-South Trilateral Cooperation with International Organizations within the ABC, which presented the principles of trilateral cooperation, said that the positive experiences of the return to cotton growing in some countries of Latin America, such as Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Paraguay, suggest that such an approach would also be successful in Haiti underlining that cotton is very resilient and can grow in areas where growing food is difficult.

Adriana Gregolin, regional coordinator of FAO's Project +Algodón (Beyond Cotton), said that a preliminary analysis of the sector has established the existence of export potential in addition to the local market. She added that one of the main challenges to revive cotton production in Haiti is the supply of seeds and the training of specialists and producers for sustainable cotton cultivation.

A mission composed of experts from FAO, ABC and the Brazilian Agricultural Research Company (EMBRAPA) is planned for next July in order to work with the Ministry and the producers in the elaboration of the project of revival of the cotton sector in Haiti.

Note that beyond these discussions for the future, the Haitian cooperative Gonaives "Smallholder Farmers Alliance" following studies and field trials of various varieties of cotton grown according to biological principles and successfully harvested, announces that the farmers will begin large-scale cultivation as early as next summer, convinced that the development of the cotton sector, together with marketing could create in the next 5 years nearly 17,000 jobs https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-23595-haiti-agriculture-the-cotton-sector-could-create-nearly-17-000-jobs-in-5-years.html

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