Building Sustainable Development in Haiti Through Agricultural Training

The Response

Establish a Vocational College of Agriculture

Subsistence farmers in Haiti produce an average of 14 bushels/acre/year of corn compared to 160 in the United States. By testing and employing new agricultural methodologies, such as intercropping, soil and water conservation, fertilization and the use of disease-resistant seed, Haitian farmers can significantly increase their crop yields and their household incomes.

Preparing a new generation of skilled farmers and agri-business managers can help unlock the agricultural potential on Île de la Gonâve. To achieve this new result, LimeAid’s College of Agricultural Studies will offer students a new experience in education.

The college will provide 20 qualified high school graduates each year with a three-year, hands-on program of vocational development that goes far beyond a classroom education. Instead, students will be given the opportunity to apply classroom knowledge in the field and experiment with different approaches to agricultural production. While qualifying students will not pay tuition, they will be required to work on the pilot/ test farm to help build the revenue streams that will eventually fund the school.

University of Guelph has partnered with LimeAid to research and develop contextually relevant curriculum for La Gonâve.

LimeAid is working with Dr. Elliott Currie, Associate Professor, Department of Management at the University of Guelph to develop the school’s curriculum with the input, support and certification of the Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development (MARNDR) in Haiti. Over the past two years, a team of Professor Currie’s agriculture and business students has identified specific crops and livestock that could be successfully grown on Île de la Gonâve and marketed locally and internationally.

Based on this research, the College of Agricultural Studies will test new techniques and processes to increase agricultural productivity of these crops and animals, which include key limes, mangoes, corn, sorghum and goats. Students will participate in the testing and learn these new methodologies, which in turn will be applied as they work with local farmers.

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