For small farmers in Haiti- so close, yet so far…
Two interesting tid-bits circulating the airwaves and the web-waves this week from rural farmers in developing countries.
For small growers in Kenya, simplifying the agriculture/carbon food print issue overlooks some complicated issues
Engaging farmer piece discussing the current and potential impact of food miles on the livelihoods of the poorest rural growers in Kenya and the associated risks to climate change mitigation. Check out the attached PDF for the full report by The Commonwealth.
Linking Small Haitian growers to markets in the United States… so close, yet so far – Planet Money reports
On NPR‘s Planet Money, we meet Mango Man (Jean-Maurice Buteau), CEO of a Haitian exporter who is sourcing mangos from small farmers in Hati. Through this new market link with a local Haitian exporter, deeply impoverished farmers have an opportunity to make a living and rise out of poverty. However, Mango Man and his export enterprise is losing income and opportunity as he estimates that 40% of each each delivered load is lost due to poor post-harvest handling techniques and logistics that damage the quality of the fruit. An important market link for hundreds of small growers is in jeopardy and additional income for these small Haitian growers may never be realized.
Along with CHF, a NGO working in Haiti, Jean-Marurice worked to create a farmer association, negotiated land transfer and purchase for a storage unit to be owned and built by the association. This process, while certainly difficult, went according to plan and collaboration amongst farmers and local actors was an exciting signal towards success. The opportunity to generate increased income for small growers in Haiti appeared to be met by creating a new association and the ability (through the storage unit) for farmers to process and transport their fruit and garner a higher cost with less risk.
Dissapointly, but far from unusual, legal process and bureaucratic navigation and took more than a year. In the aftermath of the earthquake, final processing of the association has halted. Certainly no other developing country is facing the complete chaos and catastophy that Haiti is currently experiencing at the moment, but it highlights the important role of government participation in the process for agro-enterprise creation and development.
Within the Linking Farmers to Markets theme at CIAT, we understand agro-enterprise development and small holder inclusion to be one of a process that hinges on the following:
Creating large, scalable impact means a willingness explore and communicate mutual benefits between all three actors – entities that have often, in the past, found little in common with each other. Public policy in developing nations will need to engage better with the private sector if progress towards rural agro-enterprise development and rural poverty reduction is to be a priority. New roles for NGO’s to engage with the private sector and influence enabling policy will continue the ability for impact. We are looking to condense more research on public private partnerships and share the emerging lessons and trends that we are uncovering in the field, in the meantime, check out our new business models series where we discuss critical principles for small farmer inclusion.