MSU lands nearly $2M USAID grant to help feed Haiti

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Luis Flores (view larger image)

Hurricane Matthew roared through the Caribbean before moving north to the southeastern United States in October 2016, leaving a path of devastation.

Haiti’s southwest region, which has a strong history of bean production, was hit particularly hard. Michigan State University secured a nearly $2 million award from the United States Agency for International Development’s Mission to Haiti to help re-establish the region’s agricultural production capacities to sustainably produce beans for household food and nutritional security in the future.

Through this hurricane relief initiative, entitled “Mwen Gen Pwa” (Haitian Creole for “I have beans”), the Feed the Future Legume Innovation Lab at MSU and its partners will coordinate a multi-season distribution of improved high-yielding bean varieties to the region’s smallholder farmers.

“Beans are a critical element of the diet in Haiti, so the U.S. Feed the Future initiative is supporting Hurricane Matthew recovery by funding the distribution of high-quality bean seed, allowing farmers in the south and southwest to produce food and income,” said Dr. Michael Wyzan, USAID Mission to Haiti.

Speedy procurement and delivery of seed were critical for the success of the project. In late 2016, improved varieties of black bean seed were purchased by MSU, packaged and shipped to Port-au-Prince.

“The Feed the Future Legume Innovation Lab’s extensive network of seed producers and collaborators in Central America, the Caribbean and the U.S. ensured that the required quantities of bean seed would come from reputable seed producers,” said Luis Flores, project coordinator at MSU. “Since the hurricane-affected region has multiple planting seasons, the first distribution of seed will begin in January and continue through August 2017.”

For the full story, please visit MSU Today.

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