Food crops being planted in Haiti
Port au Prince, Haiti, April 29, 2010, (IICA). Thanks to the land preparation project being implemented in Haiti since March 12, some 4,000 hectares are ready to be planted with crops such as corn, sorghum, cassava, beans, pigeon peas and plantain.
This plan is being promoted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development (MARNDR) of Haiti as part of a program aimed at providing urgent support for food production, in response to the damage caused by four hurricanes that hit the island in the summer of 2008 and this year’s major earthquake.
Planting has begun with technical assistance from the MARNDR, which is also providing seeds and fertilizer.
With the 20 tractors sent by the Dominican Republic, financial support from the governments of Brazil and the United States, and the cooperation of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), estimates are that some 2000 local farmers, 15 to 20% of whom are women, are benefitting directly from the plan, as are another 10 thousand rural inhabitants, indirectly.
Authorities from the MARNDR and the farmers involved have expressed their satisfaction with the project and gratitude for the support IICA has provided by implementing a style of horizontal technical cooperation in which four countries are not participating.
“There are more than 70 people in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, including tractor drivers, mechanics and logistics personnel working in different parts of the country to prepare lands for planting, who look forward to an abundant harvest in a few months,” said Alfredo Mena, IICA Representative in Haiti.
“To get the job done, crews are working 12 to 14 hours a day, seven days a week,” he added.
This effort is possible thanks to coordination between the Ministry and its departmental offices. Mena noted that “this project is a joint effort involving personnel in the ministries of agriculture of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, and the technical and administrative personnel of the IICA Offices in the two countries.”
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