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Bill Clinton Announces $700,000 Investment in Haiti Farm Projects

The nonprofit Clinton Foundation, led by former U.S. President Bill Clinton, has announced plans to distribute more than $700,000 in grants to Haiti’s agricultural sector, with the majority of the money going toward coffee farming and related programs. The group began working on economic development projects in Haiti in 2009, a year before the country suffered a devastating earthquake.

“A strong agriculture sector is important for food security, national health as well as economic growth and job creation,” said Clinton, who has taken four trips to Haiti looking for long-term investment ideas. “By strengthening Haiti’s agricultural sector, we can support the tremendous potential to increase job creation and international exports. That is why my Foundation is working to promote programs at the nexus of agriculture, energy and the environment, and build partnerships with social businesses that are developing sustainable solutions to some of Haiti’s key issues.”

Bill Clinton visits residents of Haiti

President Clinton in Haiti in 2011. Photo courtesy of the Clinton Foundation.

Here are the grants that are related (directly or otherwise) to coffee production in Haiti, including a collaboration with Philadelphia’s La Colombe to develop a Coffee Academy in Thiotte:

  • A $150,000 grant to the Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA).  The grant will support the SFA’s efforts at growth, operations, and sustainability in Gonaives. The funds will be used towards planting thousands of trees and to maintain the 150,000 trees and improve nursery operations by the SFA in the Gonaives area.
  • The Clinton Foundation will also provide $150,000 to La Colombe and the Leslois Shaw Foundation, to develop a Coffee Academy in Thiotte. The academy will be a coffee farm with an academy attached with community services, training, and courses related to coffee farming.  It will also undertake outreach and agricultural extension services for the surrounding area to improve quantity and quality of coffee yields.
  • A $100,000 grant to the Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF) in collaboration with the North Coast Development to install a one-hectare solar market garden (SMG), a solar‐assisted agricultural development concept first developed in West Africa by SELF and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi‐Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). The SMG will enable farmers to grow high-value and high nutrition crops during dry seasons.
  • The Clinton Foundation will also provide a grant to Mission of Hope to develop a SMG, through installing a solar drip irrigation system as part of a wider solar program with Mission of Hope.
  • The Clinton Foundation will extend $57,000 in grant funds to the North Coast Development (NCD) Sisal Nursery Expansion project. The project will support farmers’ efforts to expand the sisal nursery, train area farmers in sisal growing techniques, provide initial resources for area farmers to increase staff, and purchase equipment. The project aims to reach an annual production of 1 million sisal bulbs, and will sell the sisal fiber to SisalCo, which will compost and reuse the waste produced.
  • Fuego del Sol (FdS), in collaboration with the World Food Program (WFP), Haiti National Office, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Haiti Communitere (HC), will receive $100,000 in funding from the Clinton Foundation to produce fuel briquettes for eco-stoves that the WFP places in area schools. The project will provide 20 jobs to the most vulnerable and earthquake affected citizens of Haiti, selected by the IOM. The Foundation’s grant will enable the project to triple its production of briquettes, and to undertake price setting and efficiency tests for their production process.
  • Finally, Zanmi Agricole and the Centre de Formation Fritz Lafontant will receive Clinton Foundation funds to support their efforts in developing a seed bank, which will support efforts to increase agricultural production in Haiti.

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