Port-au-Prince, Ouest, HT (sentinel.ht) – Belgium announced it would finance, to the tune of $500,000 [USD], a project to be executed by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in collaboration with the decentralized services of the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development, as part of an emergency response to “the agricultural needs of rural households weakened by the negative impact of climate change and drought” over the past two years in the communes of Terre-Neuve, Anse Rouge and Ennery of the department of Artibonite.
To boost their agricultural production, 3,000 selected households among the most vulnerable, living on family farms in three communes (Ennery, Anse Rouge and Terre Neuve), have each received 300 cassava cuttings and 500 sweet potato cuttings to the beginning of the summer season 2016. In addition, at the beginning of the following growing seasons, each beneficiary will receive vouchers of a monetary value of about USD$25, that it can redeem against seeds of crops/varieties tolerant to drought sold in seed fairs organized by FAO and its partners.
In the perspective of improving the resilience of rural communities to climate change, the project will also strengthen the capacity of 6 Groups of
Artisanal Seed Production (GPAS) in production and marketing of quality seed for varieties tolerant to drought, and 30 Agro-pastoralists in production and fodder conservation, as well as collection and conservation of rain water for their livestock.
Far from being a panacea for farmers beneficiaries, this emergency agricultural assistance is nonetheless significant for the resumption of agricultural activities.
The implementation of this project by FAO in support to decentralized structures of the Ministry of Agriculture, with the financial support of the Belgian Cooperation, also aims to strengthen rural communities to major natural hazards resulting from climate change, notably through training: in Education Related to the Environment; nutrition education; adoption/replication of Good Agricultural Practices and resilience to climate change.