Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Feed the Future West Empowers Woman Farmers

The Feed the Future/West WINNER program empowers Haitian woman farmers while also improving local Haitian economies.  These women were celebrated on the UN’s International Day of Rural Women, October 24th.

USAID and Haitian Women Farmers Celebrate Rural Women’s Achievements

Press Release from Embassy of the United States in Port-au-Prince
October 29, 2013

Man looking at produce. (DOS)

USAID Mission Director John Groarke visits with Haitian farmers.

The Feed the Future West/ WINNER program celebrated of the United Nations’ International Day of Rural Women October 24.  The event honored the achievements of Haitian women farmers who support their families and contribute to the local economy through producing vegetables, fruits and other farm products.  The event was attended by USAID Mission Director John Groarke and representatives of Haitian government and women farmers.  It was organized in collaboration with the Ministry Delegated for the Promotion of the Peasantry; the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Rural Development; and the Ministry for Women’s Affairs and Women Rights to showcase the work and accomplishments of rural women in Haiti, as well as to highlight the needs and difficulties faced by Haitian rural women in their everyday lives.

A five-year project financed by USAID, Feed the Future West/WINNER, works to improve the livelihoods of people living in the targeted areas of the Cul-de-Sac and Saint Marc, reduce the risks linked to flooding and invest in sustainable agricultural development, while respecting gender issues and implementing strategies to better integrate women in all project activities. The project works with 272 farmer associations in Haiti, out of which 18 are specifically women’s associations.  Nearly 30 percent of the Haitian farmers trained through the program as master farmers are women. As Mr. Groarke highlighted, “Women are the pillars, ‘Poto Mitan’, in Haitian society.  Without them, there is no life in Haiti.  The American Government, along with the Haitian Government is working to empower women so that they can improve themselves and develop their communities.”

One of the participants at the event, Mrs. Annette Mathieu, from the community of Duvivier, learned through the Feed the Future/Winner program how to use a tractor.  “With this training, I no longer work for the sake of working.  I work on my land and reap the production that I use to support my family. As a woman, I can work as well as the men.”

The Feed the Future West/WINNER project implements its activities while seeking to identify new opportunities that will have a significant impact on women and their roles to reduce their economic vulnerability, and allow them to undertake non-traditional activities in order to increase their income and improve their livelihood.

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