[Port-au-Prince] – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announces the official launch of the Haiti Resilience and Agriculture Sector Advancement (HRASA) project. Through HRASA’s numerous activities, the project aims to benefit more than 25,000 rural Haitian farmers, especially marginalized groups such as women and youth; promote private investment in the agriculture sector; expand livelihood opportunities and household assets; and strengthen community institutions to better manage essential resources.
U.S. Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Kenneth Merten remarked, “This new agriculture project shows once again that the U.S. government believes in advancing this sector for an economically viable Haiti. I am excited to see USAID’s HRASA project come to fruition.”
HRASA is the flagship project in Haiti funded by USAID as part of Feed the Future—a presidential initiative to combat global hunger and food insecurity. This project will be implemented by Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI) LLC, in association with Haitian institutions including Agridev S.A., Papyrus S.A., and Quisqueya University.
Over the next five years, HRASA aims to engage all active stakeholders—from farmers to consumers—to strengthen Haiti’s agricultural markets. With a focus on resilience, this project will apply a new approach to improve production, productivity, market transactions, and investment opportunities for individuals, households, and communities. The project will work in 32 communes across the country — 10 communes in the North, nine communes in the North East, three communes in the Central Plateau, and 10 communes in the South.
HRASA’s Chief of Party, Allen Turner, noted, “DAI’s team and partners are eagerly beginning this activity, which builds on USAID’s decades of investment in Haiti’s agriculture sector. We look forward to fully engaging local actors in inclusive, sustainable partnerships to create a more resilient and prosperous future for all Haitians, especially the most vulnerable populations.”
HRASA will apply a facilitative market system development approach. This approach relies on active collaboration and participation of local stakeholders to identify root causes of problems and to co-create solutions. Rather than delivering support directly to farmers, the project will work with and through local actors such as Haitian private firms, producer groups, academic and financial institutions, and community-based organizations. This approach will actively address the constraints and barriers that hinder 1) the efficiency of agricultural market systems, 2) private sector engagement and investment in agriculture, and 3) inclusion of poor and marginalized groups in both formal and informal markets.
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USAID Mission Director Christopher Cushing said, “USAID is thrilled to continue to support the agriculture sector. This project recognizes that it is not enough to support just farmers. Everyone in the entire agricultural system must work together to ensure that farmers are able to produce and sell in a market that is fair, transparent, and efficient.”