A New Way to Look at Agriculture in Haiti?
The World Economic Forum kicks off in Davos, Switzerland today. The theme this year is “Resilient Dynamism”.
“Today, we live in the most complex, interdependent and interconnected era in human history. We are increasingly confronted by major adaptive challenges as well as profound transformational opportunities. This new leadership context requires successful organizations to master strategic agility and to build risk resilience”
In advance of the meeting, the World Economic Forum released a paper making the case for a model for partnerships to coordinate investment in the agricultural sector. “Achieving the New Vision for Agriculture: New Models for Action” is worth reading in it’s entirety, and there are several topics of relevance to Haiti. The paper looks at the responsibility of individual stakeholders in strengthening implementation capacity:
“–– Farmers can cooperatively organize to improve access to market opportunities, financing and training programmes, and actively engage in multistakeholder partnerships and advocacy to influence the direction and impact of these partnerships
–– Civil society can expand participation to implement community-level capacity-building programmes, monitor programmes to ensure alignment with public-interest goals and proven practices, and engage key stakeholder groups and the public”
One group working in Haiti has already seen the value and importance of cooperative organization. UCOCAB is a coffee growing cooperative of 900 Haitian growers, nearly 320 of which are women. They have been producing an excellent Arabica Typica coffee and have augmented the livelihoods of many farmers. What the coffee growers need is more trees.
"There is a deficit of production compared to the demand. Haiti is producing a very good coffee for export - but there is not enough being produced."
Gilbert Gonzales - Vice President of REBO Coffee
This is where the civil society piece comes to play. We can help these farmers as they implement capacity-building programs. We are supporting the farmers as they plant 180,000 trees. We have formed a wonderful relationship with Cafe Xaragua, which will provide guidance during the fertilization, planting, and tracking of new coffee trees.
These farmers have grown their business on their own, and are now ready to take the next step. We are thrilled to be part of this exciting period of growth. The accumulation of benefits like this can and will lead to a different Haiti in a generation.