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Cotton is back in Haiti: New hope for farmers

Field trial site of the Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA) near Gonaives, Haiti, where varieties of cotton seed from Brazil, India, the U.S. and Haiti are being grown to determine which are best suited for widespread cultivation. Picture: SFA

Cotton is back in Haiti after a 30-year absence, having once been the country’s fourth largest agricultural export.

Building on its original agroforestry model linking agriculture and tree planting, the Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA) is scaling up by adding a network of farm cooperatives that will be part of a new supply chain that will exclusively serve smallholder farmers and connect them to both local and global markets.

Smallholders will have access to services including exporting, marketing, financing, processing, organic certification, agricultural research, data management and other forms of support normally available only to industrial-scale farmers.

Among the many partnerships the SFA has forged to provide these expanded smallholder services is one with FiBL, a global leader in the field of organic agriculture research. Drawing on their expertise in smallholder cotton production, FiBL is advising the SFA on its field trials and will be providing ongoing technical and training assistance.

Recently, outdoor lifestyle brand Timberland, the Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA) and Haiti’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, Pierre Marie Du Mény, have together announced the reintroduction of cotton as an anchor crop to help revitalize farming, boost the economy and contribute to environmental restoration through being linked to tree planting.

Source: Connecting Cotton and Trees Signals New Hope for Farmers in Haiti, news at the SFA Website of August 23, 2017

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Smallholdersfarmersalliance.org: Connecting Cotton and Trees Signals New Hope for Farmers in Haiti, news at the SFA Website of August 23, 2017