May 24, 2022
[Port-au-Prince] – The United States government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), awarded the Feed the Future Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab (SIIL) at Kansas State University a five-year $12 million grant to develop a Center of Excellence focused on agriculture-led economic growth in Haiti.
U.S. Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Nicole Theriot remarked, “The U.S. government is pleased to help develop this Center for Excellence in Haiti to engage youth and strengthen the resilience of the agricultural sector.”
Kansas State University’s Center of Excellence on Mitigation, Adaptation, and Resilience to Climate Change in Haiti will focus on building institutional and human capacity so that Haiti is able to identify and seek solutions to its agricultural problems in partnership with U.S. universities.
“Thanks to the generosity of the American people, this award gives us a great opportunity to work with local Haitian universities to foster agricultural education, curriculum development, training, research, and extension,” said Jan Middendorf, associate director of the SIIL. “We will also work to improve collaboration, coordination, and knowledge sharing with local farming communities to concentrate on Haiti’s food and nutritional security, especially during these very challenging times.”
The Center of Excellence will work closely with a consortium of six universities in Haiti including Quisqueya University, the lead partner university, and Faculté d’Agronomie et de Médecine Vétérinaire in Port-au-Prince; Campus Henry Christophe de Limonade and North Christian University in Cap Haitien; and American University of the Caribbean and University Notre Dame in Les Cayes.
USAID Mission Director Christopher Cushing said, “USAID is excited for the potential of these local partnerships with Haitian Universities, not only the potential for strengthening the agriculture sector, but also for improving food security across the country.”
The Kansas State University’s Innovation Lab will work with the Haitian institutions to develop a five-year plan based on Haiti’s priorities, opportunities, and commitments.
The Center of Excellence on Mitigation, Adaptation, and Resilience to Climate Change will have three core goals, including: 1) increasing institutional and human capacity and social capital to better meet the demands of the agricultural economy and workforce needs; 2) developing revenue-generating services to provide to the region; and 3) establishing technology parks to showcase high-potential Climate Smart Agriculture technologies and strategies to sustainably intensify smallholder production systems.
“Developing revenue-generating services and establishing agricultural technology parks to sustainably intensify smallholder production systems is a hallmark of SIIL’s portfolio,” said Vara Prasad, director of the SIIL. “We are fortunate that USAID, as a branch of the U.S. government, values our work and is willing to invest in our approach to replicate this proven model in multiple countries and regions.”
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