Cotton production to create 17,000 jobs in next 5 years in Haiti
the revival of cotton production in Haiti is a project supported by Brazil and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in a trilateral cooperation,
An attempt to promote the production of Cotton in Haiti was made in the 1950s by some Brazilian firms. The project was abandoned in the late 80s due to parasitic problems, especially the cotton weevil.
During the March end, this year Timberland, a global outdoor lifestyle brand and Haiti-based Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA) announced for a feasibility study to explore the possibility of reintroducing cotton as an export crop for Haitian smallholder farmers and enhance the opportunities for extensive cotton farming in Haiti. The study was undertaken to empower the Haitian smallholder farming community to become an active participant in the global supply chain.
Earlier in 2010, Timberland and SFA also launched a successful, sustainable agro-forestry model. It helped Haitian small farmers to plant five million trees in five years. The project immensely helped creation of microfinance and farming businesses in the rural areas.
Two months later in May, in support to Haiti in the revival of the cotton sector, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development (MANRDR) and the Brazilian Embassy in Haiti through the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC) organized a workshop in Port-au-Prince. The objective of this workshop was to identify the avenues for implementing the revival and development plans of the Haitian government so that Haiti, as a part of Trilateral South-South Cooperation Haiti-FAO-Brazil, becomes a key player in the global cotton trade.
Currently, the project is in its final drafting stage. Hugh Locke, co-founder of the SFA, believes that the development of the cotton sector, together with marketing, could create nearly 17,000 jobs in the next 5 years. Hugh believes that in a few years, cotton could become Haiti's white gold and provide millions of pounds of organic cotton for shoes, shirts and other clothing sold in US stores.
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