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Haiti - Economy : The Minister of Agriculture before the Finance Commission of the Senate
19/08/2012 09:52:25

Haiti - Economy : The Minister of Agriculture before the Finance Commission of the Senate
After the approval of the draft national budget for 2012-2013 by the Lower House, Thomas Jacques, Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development, met Friday, members of the Commission Economy and Finance of the Senate to explain and defend the funds allocated to his Ministry and present the main objectives of the his Ministry :

"[...] First strengthen the governance of the agricultural sector and secondly improve the agricultural infrastructure, increase the area under cultivation, increase the production and increase rural household incomes, increase the productivity of sectors for a better product availability, increase the farmers access to basic services and improved technology.

The main results that the Ministry of Agriculture intends to achieve by the end of this year are :

First, an increase of the additional offer of 60,000 metric tons of equivalence in cereal in the the different zones of construction and rehabilitation of irrigation system of the country ;

Secondly the realization of capital-intensive investments in agriculture, by the introduction of drip irrigation, the intensification of the greenhouse production [The Ministry intends to achieve within five years, one million square meters of greenhouse throughout the extent of territory], by the development of the processing sector of agricultural products ;

Third, the creation of about 90,000 direct jobs and 450,000 indirect jobs from the enhancement of 36,000 hectares of additional farmland ;

Fourth, reduce post-harvest losses, which are now around 35%, so we'll try to drop them around 30%.

It is in this sense, we have proposed a budget of 679 million 347.729 gourdes for operation and investment credits of 9 billion 85 million 969.711 gourdes which is distributed in national resources billion 310 million gourds and external resources, 7 billion 775 million 969.711 gourdes making a total of 9 billion 765 million 317.400 gourdes.

So for each axis, for each objective set, we will present the different activities that we want to achieve through this budget. First of all, for the axis of governance support, we screened about 70 million gourdes to build the capacity of departmental directorates and be able to deliver services to farmers, to ensure the follow up of the gricultural production and food security, develop and disseminate new legal instruments. We also rely on external resources of approximately 516 million gourdes, to establish accounting systems and of monitoring-evaluation to strengthen the governance of the agricultural sector.

The second area of ​​intervention, that the Ministry of Agriculture gives himself is increasing and strengthening agricultural production, including vegetable sectors and for this we have planned 576 million gourdes for continuing local development projects, which have already been initiated ; provide fertilizer subsidy, which is an important element for increasing crop yield, but also seeds and other inputs ; ensure the development of crops such as sweet potato, cocoa, cereals, pulses and sugar cane and develop productive initiatives. We also rely on input from external resources of about 997 million 549.578 gourdes, among others by taking advantage of fertilizer subsidies of Japan ; continue intensification projects with funding from the Interamerican Development Bank in Artibonite and pursue projects of production and marketing of coffee, bamboo and rice, especially in the plains of Torbeck and in the zone of Marmelade..."

The Senator Jocelerme Privert, President of the Finance Commission, explained that the Commission would meet each member of the government, in order to justify the funds allocated to them. After the hearings, the Senate will have to confirm or modify by a vote, the recommendations passed by the Lower House. In case of modification by the Senate, the Lower House will vote again and decide on the changes of the Upper House...

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