In Focus: Using Greenhouses to Grow Incomes in Haiti


This week, Chemonics’ Mario Kerby presented at the Harvest the Future International Symposium about our work helping smallholder farmers in Haiti increase their incomes through the use of greenhouses. Harvest the Future is an annual gathering for experts to share and discuss the latest advancements and initiatives in small-scale, climate-smart agriculture.

From 2009 to 2014, the USAID Feed the Future West/ WINNER project installed more than 400 greenhouses on Haïtian hillsides. By using protected agriculture, vertical agriculture and drip irrigation, farmers were able to produce high-value crops year-round. The project resulted in a 119 percent average increase in household income for more than 60,000 farmers.

If low-cost greenhouses for smallholder farmers can work in Haïti, this technology could hold promise for smallholder farmers throughout the Caribbean basin and elsewhere.

"In Focus" is an occasional series highlighting photos from Chemonics' work around the world.

Danielle Zielinski is a manager in Strategic Communications and Outreach at Chemonics.

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In Focus: Bosnia Farmers' Market Showcases Samples and Success


Last week, Bosnia’s Fostering Agricultural Markets Activity (FARMA) project held its final event—a farmers' market in Sarajevo that showcased the wares and accomplishments of its participating producer organizations. Attendees could sample and purchase a wide variety of fresh and homemade products, including berries, jams, cheeses, and soaps. The event also featured videos highlighting the farmers’ successes. Bosnia FARMA began in 2009, with the aim of expanding production, processing, sales,...

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3 Questions with Aliyu Samaila on Improving Agriculture


Aliyu Samaila is the Director of Agricultural Productivity for the Maximizing Agricultural Revenue and Key Enterprises in Targeted Sites II (MARKETS II) project in Nigeria. The project enhances agricultural productivity and incomes by building farmers’ capacity to maximize yields and respond to market demands. Q. What is new or different about what this project is doing that could have implications for other agriculture initiatives? A. What’s different about this project is the involvement of the...

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Chasing the $42-Per-Farmer Dream: How Youth Are Making Money With ICT in Agriculture


Uganda has the world’s youngest population with over 78 percent of its population below the age of 30. Though the country also has one of the highest youth unemployment rates in Sub-Saharan Africa, many of Uganda’s young adults have limited interest in pursuing careers in agriculture because they see it as a subsistence livelihood, or simply lack the agribusiness skills, finance and market awareness to make agriculture profitable. Through the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future...

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Digging Into DC Ag Week


Interested in agriculture, technology, or development? Live in the DC area? You’re in luck. Today kicks off International Agriculture Week—or “DC Ag Week”—a week full of international agricultural development conferences and events held in the nation’s capital. Here’s a sneak peek of what’s on the agenda: June 1-2: Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development (AIARD) 51st Annual Conference AIARD is an association of U.S.- and internationally-based members who work in global...

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This Year at Cracking the Nut: Increasing Investment in Agriculture


Within a climate of uncertain global markets, development funding from many donors has increasingly been on the chopping block. The added dimension of the urgent need to adapt to climate change means that agriculture-focused poverty solutions are increasingly more complex. However, new forms of financing, through both partner country institutions and directly from newer social impact funds are breathing new life into agricultural markets that were once considered investment taboos. Focusing on...

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5 Years After the Haiti Earthquake: Is Haiti Better Off?


Off one plane came firemen from Miami. Off another, volunteers from France. The stream of aid workers and supplies seemed endless as they flooded the Toussaint Louverture airport in Port-au-Prince, where I had come to evacuate some consultants who had worked with the USAID watershed management project I was leading in my native country of Haiti. It was January 14, 2010, only two days after the 7.0 Mw earthquake that killed hundreds of thousands of people. It is hard to describe the nightmare of...

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What We Are Reading: Eradicating Poverty


A commitment to doing better and more effective development goes hand in hand with a commitment to continual learning. In that spirit, we are launching a new blog post series, “What We Are Reading,” to share the books, academic papers, web tools, and other resources our technical experts have found useful in recent months. In honor of International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, which is Friday, October 17, we have chosen three books with very different takes on the causes and cures for...

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Resolving the Tension between Agricultural Growth and Nutrition


Below is an excerpt from an essay that appeared in the 2014 Frontiers in Development books, themed around ending extreme poverty. The essay, by Chemonics’ Neal Donahue and Ilisa Gertner, posits that there is often an underlying tension between the “seemingly complementary goals” of agricultural growth and increased production and consumption of nutritious food. Development programs must be designed to increase farmers’ incomes and the demand and supply of nutritious food.  When it comes to...

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