Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) Project Partnership

On July 10th and 11th, Elizé Léandre and Alex Carroll of the MFK Agriculture Team, traveled to Port-au-Prince for a two-day project kickoff meeting with the Faculty of Agronomy and Veterinary Medicine of the University of Haiti (FAMV-UEH). MFK will be partnering with the Faculty to implement six-month project sponsored by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), a European Union-affiliated international rural development institution based in the Netherlands and working in Africa, the Pacific, and the Caribbean. The project is entitled Diversified home gardens (jaden lakou) for improved nutrition and income for rural families in Haiti (Building Nutrition Knowledge, Development of Educational Material and Creating Agriculture-Nutrition Linkages). This project will involve establishing five integrated crop-poultry model school or community gardens – three of the gardens will be managed by MFK and will be located in Ouanaminthe commune in the Northeast Department where our farmer training groups are located. The other two gardens will be located in the commune of Anse-à-Veau in the Nippes Department and will be the responsibility of FAMV-UEH.

The objective of this project is to provide smallholder farmers in rural communities with access to training and information on nutrition, best agricultural practices, and methods for intensification of home egg and crop production. The model gardens will be established to teach and showcase improved methods which can then be adopted by individual project beneficiaries on their own lands. This project was conceptualized in part because although more than half of all Haitians are involved in agriculture, farm-based income is often low and nutritional outcomes among rural households are often unsatisfactory, with high levels of malnutrition and food insecurity. This project aims to bring together public universities and private or nonprofit sector organizations to provide linkages between agricultural production and improved nutrition among Haiti’s smallholder farmers.

The FAMV-UEH and MFK team of agricultural experts will make several visits to the model gardens over the course of the project, although the bulk of the farmer and other stakeholder trainings will be completed by a team of local support staff trained by the expert team. MFK will also host several “learning journey” activities at the model garden sites to mobilize family members, friends, and neighbors to gain interest in the project and adopt project methods in their own farming practices. There will also be an incentive fund provided to each beneficiary household so that individual beneficiaries can raise chickens for egg production and plant nutritious crops including moringa, liane panier, carrots, cabbage, cassava, beans, and corn on their own lands. The project will also include a round table meeting bringing together various stakeholders and policymakers as well as development of a policy brief.

The inception meeting was a great success in that it permitted the MFK and FAMV-UEH teams to meet each other in person and discuss project methodology and anticipated outcomes. As part of the inception meeting, the team also visited a Haitian government-run chicken raising facility to gain ideas for installing chicken coops at the five model garden sites. MFK is excited to continue working with CTA and FAMV-UEH on this important project that will give smallholder peanut farmers the tools they need to improve nutritional regimes for their households.