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Growing More with Less in Haiti

By Susan DeCamp

Making the most of limited resources is a driving concern of Haitian farmers, yet Wilhem Emile, one of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) beneficiary farmers, counts himself a lucky man. As a plantain grower in the seaside town of Arcahaie, with just a half-hectare of land, he earns approximately $5,000 annually. That is 10 times the annual income of the average farmer with the same amount of land.

It is difficult to write anything about Haiti that does not start with the January 2010 earthquake, which is a defining, tragic moment in the country’s recent history. However, USAID’s current agricultural focus has been ongoing since 2009, most recently through the U.S. Government’s flagship global food security initiative, Feed the Future. This foundation enabled the agriculture team to retool, redesign, and ramp up to provide urgently needed resources to farming families immediately following the life-altering tremblement de terre.

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