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Haiti - Economy : Visit of Bill Clinton, important economic benefits
12/03/2013 09:39:33

Haiti - Economy : Visit of Bill Clinton, important economic benefits
During his fourth visit of investments in Haiti, former President Bill Clinton, accompanied by a delegation composed of several businessmen and businesswomen foreigners working in various fields, including agriculture and representatives of multinationals, Bill Clinton announced Monday, $700,000 in grants for agriculture while the Heineken Brewery has announced for its part an investment of $40 million. Several projects have also been launched.

Monday, the Clinton Foundation announced over $700,000 in targeted grants in support of agriculture, energy and the environment. These commitments will create new jobs, diversify products, develop new technologies and programs, and provide outreach and training.

"A strong agriculture sector is important for food security, national health as well as economic growth and job creation," said President Bill Clinton. "By strengthening Haiti's agricultural sector, we can support the tremendous potential to increase job creation and international exports. That is why my Foundation is working to promote programs at the nexus of agriculture, energy and the environment, and build partnerships with social businesses that are developing sustainable solutions to some of Haiti's key issues."

A $150,000 grant to the Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA). The grant will support the SFA’s efforts at growth, operations, and sustainability in Gonaives. The funds will be used towards planting thousands of trees and to maintain the 150,000 trees and improve nursery operations by the SFA in the Gonaives area.

The Clinton Foundation will also provide $150,000 to La Colombe and the Leslois Shaw Foundation, to develop a Coffee Academy in Thiotte. The academy will be a coffee farm with an academy attached with community services, training, and courses related to coffee farming. It will also undertake outreach and agricultural extension services for the surrounding area to improve quantity and quality of coffee yields.

A $100,000 grant to the Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF) in collaboration with the North Coast Development to install a one-hectare solar market garden (SMG), a solar‐assisted agricultural development concept first developed in West Africa by SELF and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi‐Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). The SMG will enable farmers to grow high-value and high nutrition crops during dry seasons.

The Clinton Foundation will also provide a grant to Mission of Hope to develop a SMG, through installing a solar drip irrigation system as part of a wider solar program with Mission of Hope.

The Clinton Foundation will extend $57,000 in grant funds to the North Coast Development (NCD) Sisal Nursery Expansion project. The project will support farmers’ efforts to expand the sisal nursery, train area farmers in sisal growing techniques, provide initial resources for area farmers to increase staff, and purchase equipment. The project aims to reach an annual production of 1 million sisal bulbs, and will sell the sisal fiber to SisalCo, which will compost and reuse the waste produced.

Fuego del Sol (FdS), in collaboration with the World Food Program (WFP), Haiti National Office, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Haiti Communitere (HC), will receive $100,000 in funding from the Clinton Foundation to produce fuel briquettes for eco-stoves that the WFP places in area schools. The project will provide 20 jobs to the most vulnerable and earthquake affected citizens of Haiti, selected by the IOM. The Foundation’s grant will enable the project to triple its production of briquettes, and to undertake price setting and efficiency tests for their production process.

Finally, Zanmi Agricole and the Centre de Formation Fritz Lafontant will receive Clinton Foundation funds to support their efforts in developing a seed bank, which will support efforts to increase agricultural production in Haiti.

Moreover, during this mission :

Heineken announced a $40 million investment to upgrade and expand their Haitian brewery, which includes investment in regional programs that will help build the capability of smallholder farmers. The announcement comes after Heineken made a $15 million Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) commitment, in collaboration with the Smallholder Farmers Alliance, to locally source 20% of all raw materials for brewed products and 40% of their packaging materials. By 2018, the commitment is expected to bolster Haiti’s packaging industry and improve the livelihood of 18,000 farmers by sourcing their sorghum for the packaging of Heineken products.

Haiti Forest social initiative was launched in collaboration with the Yunus Social Business GmbH ("YSB") and Virgin Unite. The project will aim to solve social and environmental issues in Haiti by bringing sustainable, productive, and socially responsible forests to the country. Ten thousand hectares of land is being committed by the Ministry of Environment to develop the new, Haiti Forest initiative in the Artibonite and northern part of the country.

The Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA), in partnership with the Bureau de Nutrition et Development, has agreed to establish a second site for SFA in Massaide, in the Central Plateau. The new site will be a collaboration with a women’s led farming cooperative, Femmes Agricole de Maissade, which will increase female employment and financial security.

President Clinton also visited the Abbott Peanut Factory, a new peanut processing facility in the Central Plateau where they will produce Nurimamba, a fortified peanut butter product used to combat malnutrition. The factory, which just opened in March, was constructed with help from Partners in Health (PIH) and Abbott Labs, and will distribute the Nurimamba.

HL/ HaitiLibre

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