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Last Updated:[21-08-2009 02:05:11 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

UN Program Helps Haiti to Combat Food Shortage

tradenews According to the UN press release, a scheme intended to improve food security of Haiti and thereby lower food prices has come to fruition with considerable increase in the income of the country’s farmers. At the Haitian government’s request, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) had executed a $10.2mn plan to distribute and multiply quality seeds to the farmers with financing from the International Fund for Agriculture (IFAD).

The FAO estimates showed the superior quality bean seeds from Guatemala, procured and distributed to the hapless farmers of Haiti have produced good results. The seeds worth $300,000 distributed during the winter planting season of 2008 were able to produce a yield of $5mn in bean crops.

The FAO Haiti Representative, Ari Toubo Ibrahim expressed that they were extremely encouraged by the results of this program which in turn had increased the food available to poor people of Haiti. He also added that the weather too played a favourable role to reach this ambitious goal.

It should be recalled that the country’s capital, Port-au-Prince had witnessed riots sparked off by the skyrocketing of food prices last year. Last August and September’s four successive and devastating hurricanes had caused loss of seeds owing to either being washed away or consumed by the poor hungry farmers of Haiti.

The success of the scheme has encouraged the world body to extend the project to the upcoming winter season also, particularly aimed at maintaining the momentum. Almost 250,000 smallholder and landless farmers have or will receive adapted quality seeds through the program, which will also provide basic tools and advice or training via written material and radio broadcasts on best cultivation techniques. The project will facilitate the Farmers to procure bean, maize, sorghum, vegetable and rice seeds; besides, banana saplings and sweet potato and cassava cuttings.

By Jose Roy

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