CDB approves Grant to Support Agricultural Productivity in Haiti
On Wednesday March 9, 2016, the Board of Directors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) approved a grant of USD 8 million to support the efforts of the Government of Haiti (GOH) to enhance agricultural productivity in the North West Department of Haiti. The grant will allow for the development of infrastructure and services to improve agricultural productivity in the identified communities. Particular focus will be placed on improving access to water for agriculture and efficient irrigation systems. Communities will be engaged at all stages of the project cycle to ensure the sustainability of interventions. “This project gives Haitians in the identified communities a better chance at improving their livelihoods, as well as ensuring food security for the persons in these communities and their families. We expect that through this grant, Haiti will be better able to address low productivity in the agricultural sector, which will contribute to economic growth, community development and enhance basic livelihoods across the country," said Daniel Best, Director of Projects at CDB. In general, rural Haitian communities are characterized by limited economic opportunities and poor access to infrastructure and services. The North West Department, which is the focus of this project, is the second poorest Department in Haiti, and is especially vulnerable to food insecurity. Residents of the North West Department depend almost exclusively on agriculture for their food and nutrition security. However, this is impacted by the area' irregular rainfall patterns, and the loss of land due to deforestation and poorly adapted agriculture production systems. Further compounding the problem is considerable damage experienced from natural hazards, as well as limited access to markets because of poor roads. One component of the project will be creating Enhanced Agricultural Systems, which will be composed of several demand-driven sub-projects. These sub-projects are likely to include: Upgrading of existing and Construction of new irrigation infrastructure Rehabilitating/upgrading of watersheds linked to irrigation systems with a view to sustaining water yields and mitigating the effects of flooding and erosion. Capacity building and technical advice to male & female farmers and groups linked to new and existing irrigation schemes/production centres Upgrading of existing and Construction/purchase of new critical infrastructure and equipment in support of production, storage and marketing of crops. The project will be implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development of Haiti, and representatives from the Ministry as well as beneficiaries will be involved at all stages of the sub-project cycle, including the identification of sites, and the design and Construction of irrigation schemes. In addition to CDB, the project is being co-financed by Welthungerhilfe (WHH), a German non-governmental aid organization, which has a long history of working in Haiti in the design and implementation of irrigation systems. The project aligns with CDB' Country Sector Paper 2013-2016 for Haiti, which is focused on two sectors, (a) education and training; and (b) community development and agriculture, as well as with CDB' corporate priority of supporting agriculture and rural development.