To improve Haiti’s agricultural output, USAID launched a new program in Haiti called “Feed the Future North”.
In an effort to improve Haiti’s economy, boost its agricultural output, improve food security and nutrition, and increase incomes in the country’s northern reaches, the United States Agency for International Development, USAID, through the Feed the Future initiative and Haiti's Ministry of Agriculture launched a new agricultural development program in Haiti called “Feed the Future North”.
Haiti’s agricultural productivity has systematically declined over the past three decades due to a combination of factors including: terrain that is difficult to farm, prone to erosion, flooding and environmental degradation, and diminishing fresh water sources.
Feed the Future, the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative focuses on small holder farmers and supports partner countries in developing their agriculture sector to spur economic growth that increases incomes and reduces hunger, poverty and undernutrtion.
The new program is modeled on the successful “Feed the Future West”, a five-year program launched in 2009 that introduced better seeds and fertilizer, new farming technologies and improved infrastructure to support the growth of Haiti’s agriculture. As a result, some 30,000 Haitian farmers increased their crop yields and raised their incomes from about 200 dollars per hectare to more than 1,100 dollars per hectare since the program’s inception.
Feed the Future North is an 88 million dollar, five-year program that will focus on five key crops: maize, beans, rice, plantains and cocoa. Its objective is to increase agricultural incomes in Haiti’s Northern Corridor for at least 40,000 small holder farmers, including women. The program will introduce new agricultural technologies; facilitate access to financing, better agricultural inputs, post-harvest processing facilities and market information; develop or extend irrigation systems and protect watersheds; and improve roads to some of the most fertile but difficult to reach farming areas to connect them to markets.
To support a Haitian-led process of growth, Feed the Future North will also develop the capacity of local organizations to become direct USAID implementing partners, who will then run projects for USAID with some 40 million dollars in additional Feed the Future North funding.
“The North is a key region of Haiti,” said U.S. Ambassador to Haiti Pamela A. White at the project’s announcement. “Working here on food security benefits the entire country. We will be working alongside the Ministry of Agriculture to increase agricultural production and improve farmers’ lives.”