Agricultural Development for Haiti

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) will make $200 million in grants over five years to strengthen land tenure rights, boost agricultural production, increase market access for farmers and reinforce food security in Haiti. The grants will cover a quarter of the total cost of a Haitian government plan to revamp farming after the Jan. 12 earthquake.

The grants will mark a significant increase in IDB support for rural development in Haiti. Between 2003 and 2009 the Bank approved $129 million for projects in this strategic sector, which accounts for quarter of the country’s gross domestic product and generates jobs and incomes for millions of Haitians.

“Agriculture is key to reviving Haiti’s economy after the earthquake,” said Hector Malarin, chief of the IDB’s Rural Development and Environment Division. “We want to help Haiti improve its food security conditions with projects that boost productivity and contribute to attract investment to rural areas.”

The IDB will finance projects to improve economic and environmental conditions in rural communities, fostering sustainable crop production. These investments will build on past projects involving irrigation and watershed management, as well as on efforts to combat pests and diseases affecting key crops. They will also promote farming techniques to reduce soil erosion and boost productivity.

One of the cornerstones will be to improve the system to recognize land tenure as a means to stimulate long-term investment in rural areas. Currently, few Haitian farmers have clear title to their land and the country lacks a modern property registry system.

Under this project, which is being discussed with the Haitian government and other international organizations, the IDB will seek to increase the number of titled properties and improve the quality and access of registry services in certain rural communities, particularly in regions where the IDB is financing projects.

The IDB is Haiti’s leading multilateral donor. In March, as part of an agreement to increase the Bank’s capital, the IDB Board of Governors approved an unprecedented package of financial support for Haiti, which will include $2 billion in grants over the next decade.

For the original press release go to http://www.caribbeanpressreleases.com/articles/6987/1/IDB-to-invest-200-million-in-Haitis-agriculture-through-2014/Page1.html

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