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Haiti - Agriculture : $12M for a center of excellence to support agricultural growth
09/04/2022 10:47:07

Haiti - Agriculture : $12M for a center of excellence to support agricultural growth
The Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab (SIIL) at the University of Kansas has received a five-year, $12 million grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to create and lead a center of excellence that will strengthen the capacity of six universities to support agricultural growth in Haiti.

Vara Prasad, Director of the Innovation Lab said the grant will help create Haiti's Center of Excellence on Climate Change Mitigation, Adaptation and Resilience (CEMARCH), to foster education, training, research and growth through improved collaboration, communication and knowledge sharing.

The effort will focus on agricultural issues and food and nutrition security in Haiti. According to Prasad, CEMARCH will focus on building institutional and human capacity so that Haiti is able to identify and pursue solutions to its agricultural problems in partnership with US universities.

"SIIL is perfectly positioned with its international recognition and vast experience to engage in a co-creation process with partner Haitian universities and USAID-Haiti to successfully establish CEMARCH," said Ernie Minton, Dean of "K-State's College of Agriculture and Director of K-State Research and Extension".

SIIL will work closely with a consortium of 6 universities to develop a five-year plan based on Haiti's needs, priorities, opportunities and commitments :

  • Quisqueya University in Port-au-Prince, Haiti;
  • Faculty of Agronomy and Veterinary Medicine in Port-au-Prince;
  • Henry Christophe de Limonade Campus in Limonade, Haiti;
  • North Christian University, Cap-Haitien;
  • American University of the Caribbean in Sint Maarten;
  • Notre Dame University, Les Cayes, Haiti.

Together, these universities will help identify areas for research, curriculum development, and opportunities to engage the agricultural community and other local partners to rethink agrifood systems.

"Engaging with academics, educators, policy makers, smallholder farmers and building social capital and human resources is a hallmark of SIIL's portfolio [...]" said Prasad recalling that SIIL has strengthened capacities worldwide by training 160 students and creating seven agricultural technology parks in Cambodia; and one in Senegal. The laboratory plans to set up more in West Africa (particularly in Burkina Faso, Niger, Ghana and Mali).

Prasad said the work at CEMARCH focuses on three goals:

  • Increase institutional and human capacities and social capital to better meet the demands of the agricultural economy and labor needs;
  • Develop revenue-generating services to provide to the region;
  • Establish technology parks to showcase climate-smart agriculture technologies and strategies with high potential to sustainably intensify smallholder production systems.

SL/ HaitiLibre

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