Haiti - Agriculture: USAID joins the launch of the «PISA cocoa and vanilla» Project - HaitiLibre.com : Haiti news 7/7

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Haiti - Agriculture: USAID joins the launch of the «PISA cocoa and vanilla» Project
28/10/2020 14:05:10

Haiti - Agriculture:  USAID joins the launch of the «PISA cocoa and vanilla» Project
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) entered a new partnership with Produits Des Iles S.A. (PISA), Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics LTD [LUSH], and Papyrus S.A to launch a new Cacao and Vanilla project that will make farms more profitable for 900 farmers by working with them to apply improved agricultural techniques, providing access to high-value export markets, and introducing vanilla as a companion crop, while building demand for Haitian specialty cacao and vanilla in the international market. (PISA is a subsidiary of the Haitian coffee company REBO S.A.)

U.S. Ambassador to Haiti Michele Sison declared "This new USAID partnership will introduce vanilla, a high-value export crop, create new opportunities for Haitian cacao farmers through increased exports, and protect the soil and the environment making communities more resilient to both economic and weather-related shocks."

Cacao farmers like Daniel in the North department of Haiti are well aware they must boost and diversify production to increase their revenue. Daniel has been promoting this vision within his community for a long time, but now he will have the opportunity to live out that vision by becoming a model farmer. Thanks to the PISA Cacao and Vanilla project, he will be able to improve his cacao production and plant high-value vanilla for export.

Until recently, small farmers with an average farm of less than one hectare produced the majority of Haiti's cacao. Producers with low yield farms sold dried, unfermented, low quality cacao, well below market prices to large export companies. In 2017, USAID launched a partnership with PISA to expand their operations to purchase and ferment wet cacao. Through this partnership, PISA expanded their fermenting capacity and their cacao exports. This allowed them to buy more cacao at higher prices from a local producer network called APROCANO, "Association des Producteurs de Cacao du Nord."

Now, through this new partnership with USAID, PISA aims to further expand cacao production in the region and create even more opportunities for local farmers like Daniel. PISA Project Coordinator Aline Etlicher said, "We believe the cacao and vanilla project will help modernize and expand agriculture in northern Haiti and significantly raise the standard of living of cacao farmers and their families."

LUSH Cosmetics, a multinational brand of handmade cosmetics, has committed to purchasing vanilla on a commercial scale from APROCANO farmers. To accelerate this partnership, PISA and LUSH then entered a Global Development Alliance agreement with USAID to fund the cacao and vanilla project with the help of Papyrus S.A., a local management company. USAID funds will expand production, engage more farmers, and link them to local and international markets. Among the activities the project will undertake, PISA will establish a model cacao/vanilla farm and train 900 local farmer households in production and post-harvest techniques to successfully improve their existing cacao plots. Papyrus S.A and PISA will also provide financial management training to the farmers to help them better manage their farms.

USAID Haiti Mission Director Christopher Cushing noted, "This is a great example of how our partnerships with the private sector can develop a new high-quality export crop for Haiti. Private sector involvement will ensure sustainable growth and profitability for farmers and exporters."

HL/ HaitiLibre

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