Agriculture plays a dominant role in the Haitian economy, contributing about 22% of GDP, accounting for around 50% of overall employment, 66% of employment in rural areas, and 75% of employment in low income households. In rural areas, 88% of individuals live below the poverty level and more than half earn less than $1 a day. Over one million families own mainly small-scale subsistence farms, with an average farm size less than one hectare. The main agricultural crops include maize, tubers, mangoes, coffee, avocados, citrus, rice, sorghum, beans, cocoa; of which mangoes, coffee, cocoa, together with essential oils, represent the main Haitian exports. Producers typically use outdated and ineffective technologies in terms of planting materials, soil conservation or pest management techniques, and hardware is limited to hand tools – resulting in low farm income levels, land degradation, increased vulnerability of farmers to natural hazards, and also food insecurity.
The Small Farmer Agriculture Technology Transfer Project (PTTA) contributed to sustainably improving small-scale farmers’ agricultural income and food security in the North and Northeast Departments. The project increased farmers’ access to improved agricultural inputs and technologies while supporting the development of a private agricultural service and input provider network. The project helped the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Rural Development to build capacity in regulating the seed industry.
- Climate Change
The project was rated Satisfactory by the Inter-American Development Bank at the end of the project. PTTA reached a total of 164,091 people, of whom 40 percent were women, exceeding the original target figure. The crop systems targeted were rice and vegetables as well as perennial plantations such as coffee, cocoa, and other agroforestry systems, which contribute to climate change adaptation. PTTA provided vouchers for various agricultural inputs (seeds, fertilizer, etc.) to increase input use and obtain higher yields. Overall, 34,913 farmers benefited from incentives for coffee, cocoa, agroforestry gardens, horticulture, and rice, surpassing the target of 30,000 farmers. Technologies promoted by the project were adopted by 27,930 farmers on 15,446 hectares of land. The evaluations carried out at the end of the project showed that impacts varied significantly between the technology packages. The annual crop packages did not allow any real improvement as farmers were already using the practices proposed through these packages. However, the agroforestry packages led to a significant income increase (63 percent) for farmers. Since most of the packages (more than 70 percent) focused on agroforestry, the project achieved the expected levels of adoption and income generation. The project also worked on strengthening the National Seeds Service. Targets were not achieved for this activity as there was a significant delay in laboratory construction, which was completed only at the very end of the project. As a result, the project was not able to carry out inspection of any seed providers as planned.
The most important lessons learned are the following: i) The dedicated research unit of the Ministry should be strengthened to generate and test relevant technologies. The package selection should be done through iterative and participative field tests. This approach could prevent the unfortunate situation where the proposed practices were already used in some beneficiary locations (which was the case under PTTA); ii) Some technological packages (e.g., rice) need a productive natural environment and some investments (such as irrigation systems) are crucial preconditions to increasing the likelihood of additional income generation; iii) Technical assistance needs to be strengthened to support farmers effectively and continuously. The tasks of the operators should thus be separated into a service dedicated to the technical assistance (agronomists) and a service dedicated to the management of vouchers; iv) The design, implementation and monitoring of the voucher delivery should ensure that the value of the vouchers is not eroded by delays, inflation or supply chain distortions; v) The procurement unit has to be assessed and then reinforced in a substantial way with a more effective organization and capacity strengthening. These lessons were incorporated into the design of PITAG, which is essentially the second-phase of PTTA.
Official Project Documents:
- IDB Grant Proposal (2011)
- IDB Implementation, Evaluation and Lessons Learned (2018)
- IDB Completion Report
- Cover Letters with endorsements from: the Government (French) and the Donor Working Group (French)
- GAFSP Proposal
- Sector Strategy: National Agriculture Policy (French) and background documents (Haiti: Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper and IDB Public Expenditure Managment and Financial Accountability Review (PEMFAR) (French))
- Sector Investment Plan: Agriculture Investment Plan and background document (Earthquake Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA))
- Report on Independent and Peer Review
- PTTA Impact Evaluation in Saint Raphael (2016)
- PTTA Impact Evaluation in Northeast Preliminary Results (2016)