The Haitian Foundation for Sustainable Agricultural Development (FONHDAD in French), which aims to promote modern agriculture at the Cul-de-Sac, conducted in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and the US Department of Agriculture, a soil pilot project at Bas Boen. Over 3,000 hectares considered, this study reveals eleven soil types just in the area of Lower Boen, a few kilometers from Ganthier. Specialists have taken into account in such an approach, the physical and physicochemical properties of soils of this region. Thus, policy makers and Rural Centre for Sustainable Development (CRDD in French) will have a tool that can guide their interventions at this level.
According to FONHDAD officials, the institution will continue working to modernize agriculture in this part of the country. In the opinion of the Executive Director, Kenel Cadet, data on soil properties are critical for the institution. Without these it would be difficult to make some vital decisions for the sector. With an experimental farm, nine tractors, a training center, a depot, a dormitory, three equipped laboratories, and aspace for distance learning and 19 pumps, the Rural Centre for Sustainable Development in Lower Boën serves thousands of farmers the Cul-de-Sac. It participated in the development of over 30,000 hectares in this region. Hence the importance of having accurate data on arable areas. The center works at all levels from primary production chain.
These labs not only gives a local service, but also meets the demands of all farmers in the country in the areas of soil analysis and many other areas that could increase agricultural production of the country. To cope with these natural disasters, including climate change, officials have introduced in some areas, greenhouse cultivation and drip irrigation in greenhouses and open fields suitable for small and medium farms.
Extending the area under cultivation and improving crop yield are the two main ways to increase agricultural production. As small as it may seem, the center operates at both levels. However, its work is mainly focused on making available new farming practices and technical packages adapted to increase the productivity and income of workers in this sector. Kenel Cadet, FONHDAD Executive Director, believes that the development of the agricultural sector is highly dependent on centers of this caliber.
In the opinion of Arnoux Severin, Director of crop production at the Ministry of Agriculture, promoting public-private-donor partnerships can allow policymakers to create the conditions for a sustainable rural and agricultural development.
Welcoming this initiative, he believes that it is high time that adjustments are made in this sector. Knowledge of soil properties, he concluded, is an important element to be taken into account. While it is true that with the three-year plan for agricultural recovery, an important step was taken, recovery of the sector is still taking time.
Government authorities must, in addition to the establishment of rural development centers, adopt economic incentives and promote appropriate new technologies to ensure a stable supply of food of adequate nutritional value and access for commercial production in order to decrease the trade balance.