Haitian President Michel Joseph Martelly and members of his cabinet recently visited farmer groups to see how members have improved irrigation systems, implemented new techniques, and reclaimed 10,000 hectares of previously unusable land.
In the rehabilitated section of the Riviere Grise, one local confederation of farmer associations has worked with the USAID Water Initiative for National Natural Environmental Resources (WINNER) project to develop a catchment—a structure used for collecting or draining water— as part of a new irrigation system for fields. The changes have already led to a successful bean harvest over an area of 2,000 hectares in the Cul-de-Sac corridor. To ensure the new system is maintained properly, a new association, the Association of River Irrigators of Rivière Grise (AIRG), was created.
At the Bas Boen CRDD, President Martelly met a group of master farmers participating in a training program implemented by USAID, Chemonics, and and the Haitian Ministry of Agriculture through the WINNER project and toured a laborartory that is providing local farmers with a variety of plant and soil diagnostic services.
Accompained by the Haitan Minister of Agriculture and other members of his cabinet, President Martelly’s visit demonstrated the government’s support for Haiti’s farmers and their efforts promoting the government’s agricultural goals. The Haitian Government’s strategy to improve community development and fight food insecurity focuses on agricultural intensification to improve the livelihoods of famers and advance the agriculture sector in Haiti overall.