On Wednesday, November 7, 2018, Development and Peace – Caritas Canada and its Haitian partner the Institute of Technology and Animation (ITECA), launched a project in Les Cayes to support peasant in the southern part of the country in adapting their agricultural production systems to climate change. The PROCLIMA Project is aimed at improving the food security of communities in Haiti’s Sud department (the communes of Cavaillon, Maniche, St-Louis du Sud and Aquin) by introducing adapted agricultural techniques and the sustainable development of the organic food sector.
“To prepare ourselves for the impacts of climate change, the Sud department must increase its food production. We will do this by adopting cultivation practices that will enable the agricultural territory to strengthen its resilience to the variability of rainfall, floods, hurricanes and storms. But to ensure that the activities are sustainable, significant investments are required to strengthen the Department’s social capital, particularly among farming organizations,” explains Chenet Jean-Baptiste, director of ITECA.
As part of the PROCLIMA Project, ITECA and the farmers’ organizations are focusing on new production models that are both sustainable and resilient, capable of contributing to food security and protecting the environment. The major challenge is to replace the food crops that currently dominate on the slopes with agroforestry gardens.
Joseph Andrénor André, Coordinator of the PROCLIMA Project, at the launch ceremony in Les Cayes on November 7, 2018.
“Launching this project was an opportunity to bring together farmers’ organizations in the four participating communes, as well as the mayors, local elected officials, and two representatives from the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources. and Rural Development (MARNDR). Each government representative confirmed their interest and intention to work with the PROCLIMA Project to improve and increase agricultural production while respecting and protecting the environment,” said Mary Durran, Programs Officer for Haiti at Development and Peace – Caritas Canada.
In the past, local authorities have been criticized because they were not proactive enough in banning harmful agricultural practices. One of the important tasks of participating farmers’ organizations will be to ensure that the authorities assume their role in protecting the environment. The project will also involve associating agricultural production with the breeding of hens and rabbits for food as well as for commercial purposes, with the objective of diversifying the income of women and men farmers to make them less vulnerable to the uncertainties associated with climate change.
“Through PROCLIMA, we are trying to see how we can, at least this time, try to make sure that men and women famers really participate, that there is some educational work carried out and that from there, other projects and structures can emerge in order to really change the living conditions of our population,” explains Sister Kesta Occident, Congregational Animator of the Sisters of Holy Cross.
The overall aim of the project, which is receiving $1.3 million in funding from the Québec government's Green Fund, is to contribute towards increasing local agricultural production through appropriate cultivation practices, strengthening the governance and management of farmers’ organizations and providing farmers with a strong position in the organic food sector.
Founded in 1978 by a group of Haitian professionals and religious, the Institute of Technology and Animation is a long-standing partner of Development and Peace. As a popular education institution, it is a place of discussion, analysis and training aimed at strengthening the action of farmers’ organizations. ITECA has made a conscious choice in favour of the poorest farming communities by providing them with certain resources needed to support sustainable projects in peasant agriculture and livestock-raising, while facilitating their access to basic social services in the interests of justice and equity.
About the Green Fund
The Quebec Green Fund—into which are paid 100 percent of the revenues generated by the greenhouse gas carbon market auctions—finances the implementation of measures proposed in the 2013–2020 Action Plan on Climate Change. These projects are aimed at reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improving Quebec society's ability to adapt to the impacts of climate change. To date, the carbon market has generated revenues of more than $2.4 billion for Quebec, which is used to support businesses, municipalities, institutions and Quebecers in their transition to a cleaner world.
About the International Climate Cooperation Program
With an envelope of $18 million over five years, the International Climate Cooperation Program supports projects put forward by Quebec private sector and international solidarity organizations, and research on reducing GHG emissions in order to help the most vulnerable communities in Francophone countries adapt to the impacts of climate change.