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Feed the Future Restores Irrigation Access to Agricultural Community in Haiti

The community of La Madele, a village of 18,000 residents east of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, has relied on the Riviere Blanche irrigation system for access to water since it was built in 1950. Over the decades, the Riviere Blanche system has deteriorated due to a lack of maintenance, suffering from sediment buildup in the channels that has ultimately prevented villagers in La Madele from accessing enough water to support their local agricultural economy. Land in La Madele had become arid and nearly worthless as water became increasingly scarce.

Feed the Future is changing the landscape of La Madele through a rehabilitation project that has restored local irrigation and put more than 5,000 cubic feet of canals back to work.

From September to November 2011, Feed the Future collaborated with the local Haitian Municipality to manually remove sediments from the half mile-long canal, renewing the region’s capacity for agricultural production and benefitting about 200 families. During the following winter season, farmers in La Madele planted over 1,200 acres of beans, which are expected to generate more than $500,000 in sales that would not have been possible without the Riviere Blanche rehabilitation.

In addition to irrigation water access, Feed the Future also has addressed local farmers’ needs for inputs through the establishment of 22 input supply stores, which will be managed by local farmers’ associations, and is certifying farmers and young agronomists to teach new and improved agricultural techniques to other farmers in the community. 

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