The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) is involved in two projects to enhance agriculture and improve food security in Haiti.
The first focuses on providing agricultural tools and training in rural areas :
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has donated US$2.5 million to enable the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) to carry out a program in Haiti aimed at repairing irrigation systems and strengthening grassroots organizations in the areas most affected by the earthquake that struck the country on January 12.
Following the earthquake, some 600,000 people migrated from the Haitian capital, Port au Prince, to the rural areas, where local resources and the agricultural infrastructure were placed under great strain.
The new program created for Haiti since the earthquake will target food security and the creation of work in the rural areas affected. Members of the local population will help repair 13 irrigation systems, rebuild 12 kilometers of rural roads, construct 300 community and family vegetable gardens and equip nearly 9000 homes with seeds and harvesting tools.
The program, to be implemented by organized groups of rural women and grassroots groups, will seek to strengthen the social capital by means of more than 250 training courses on marketing, agricultural production, gender equity and the creation of organizations.
The second aims to develop trans-border co-operation between Haiti and the neighbouring Dominican Republic:
The representatives of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) based in Haiti and the Dominican Republic have reached agreement on the preparation of a binational project that will focus on the border region.
The agreement – which IICA’s representatives described as groundbreaking – was adopted at a meeting held at the IICA Office in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on July 21.
The organizations also formalized a partnership to coordinate their actions in the agricultural sector in the two countries.
[ IICA’s Representative in the Dominican Republic] Manuel Sánchez explained that the group had reached agreement on the three main components of the initiative: transboundary diseases that limit trade in agricultural products; the promotion of agribusinesses for generational change in the countryside, and agricultural technology to cope with climate change.
[Photo: John O'Keefe]