Nestlé supports regeneration of Haiti’s coffee industry

Posted: 11 July 2012 | Nestlé | No comments yet

Nestlé is supporting a multi-partner international development programme to improve the livelihoods of smallholder coffee farmers…

Nestlé is supporting a multi-partner international development programme to improve the livelihoods of more than 10,000 smallholder coffee farmers in Haiti.

The programme – set up by the Multilateral Investment Fund (FOMIN) of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in collaboration with the L’Agence Française de Développement (AFD) – will provide about USD 3.5 million in grants for projects to regenerate the country’s coffee industry.

The aim is to help Haitian coffee growers use more sustainable methods to improve the quantity and quality of the crops they produce.

The programme will focus on strengthening the business skills of coffee cooperatives to help them expand activities such as coffee bean collection and processing, quality control, certification, and marketing, at the same time as reducing their costs.

It will also lend financial support and expertise to help cooperatives diversify their interests beyond coffee production, to include activities such as group purchases of agricultural materials, leasing farm equipment, and coffee roasting.

Technical assistance

Nestlé has signed an agreement with the IDB to offer coffee farmers in Haiti advice and technical assistance in coffee production and processing techniques.

The company will commit a total of USD 300,000 over three years to the programme to help fund these activities.

Nestlé will work with Haiti’s National Coffee Institute (INCAH) to provide coffee seedlings and planting materials to enable coffee growers to replant and regenerate older crops.

The company will also collaborate with other programme partners, including the Colombian government, to ensure Haitian coffee growers benefit from the experience of their counterparts in other countries, particularly Colombia and the Dominican Republic.

Food security

Nestlé’s support for the programme will help strengthen food security for Haitian coffee farmers and their families.

The company will provide seedlings and assistance to help farmers increase yields of staple crops grown in so-called ‘Creole gardens’.

Nestlé will collaborate with INCAH and the Haitian Ministry of Agriculture to distribute training materials to farmers. These will include visual ‘how-to’ guides written in Creole on recommended techniques for maintaining these gardens.

Sharp decline

Coffee was Haiti’s principal agricultural export until just over two decades ago, when the country’s output began to decline sharply.

The annual amount of coffee sold for export dropped from 191,000 bags in 1990 to 16,000 bags by 2009. This was due to a variety of international and regional factors, which in turn have been compounded by a persistent lack of farm investment.

The FOMIN programme will concentrate on farmers in Haiti’s north, central, southeast and Grand’Anse districts who have the potential to grow premium coffee.

It will leverage resources from other rural development programmes financed by IDB in Haiti, including one for the transfer of agricultural technology and one for the mitigation of natural disasters.

Multilateral Investment Fund (FOMIN)

The Multilateral Investment Fund was established in 1993. It supports private sector-led development to benefit lower income communities in Latin America and the Caribbean.

FOMIN projects seek to give lower income communities the tools to boost their income by providing access to markets and skills, to finance, and to basic services including sustainable technologies.

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