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HAITI

Summary of SRI in Haiti


   Haiti - See also album or photos with map

While presentations on SRI in Haiti began as early as 2004, no field trials began until the 2010 earthquake called the world's attention to Haiti's plight. Following the earthquake, two initiatives to introduce SRI to Haiti began in parallel. The first initiative was a collaborative effort between SRI-Rice at Cornell University, Better U Foundation and a number of NGOs working in Haiti. SRI was introduced to six sites across the country. The second initiative is undertaken by the USAID funded project Watershed Initiative for National Natural Environmental Resources (WINNER), where demonstration plots were installed in three sites. As of March 2011, the results from nine sites across the country and two seasons showed that SRI method is more productive and more profitable than the traditional method.

Based on the promising results, a two-day National Colloquium on SRI in Haiti was co-organized end of March 2011 by SRI-Rice, the Better U Foundation, and the WINNER project, under the patronage of the Ministry of Agriculture. One hundred twenty participants, among them NGOs, bilateral and multilateral programs, government researchers and extension services, the private sector and a large number of growers exchanged their experiences and started to develop a roadmap for SRI expansion in Haiti. During 2012, two years after the Haiti Earthquake, reports indicate that SRI is an innovation showing great success in Haiti; WINNER project rice yields for USAID-assisted SRI farmers reportedly increased by 64 percent during 2010-2012 while national figures show a decline of 17 percent due to a prolonged dry season. During October 2012, a World Hunger Relief, Inc. (WHRI) experiment showed SRI plots that received no fertilizer yielded an excellent 4.2 tons/ha, indistinguishable from those receiving nearly 350 kg/ha fertilizer. In mid-2013, the iF and Better U Foundations teamed up promote SRI in the Coronel-Dubre region in northern Haiti (see item below for details). USAID's Feed the Future (FTF) West project, which has promoted SRI with about 1,500 farmers in Haiti since it began in 2010 (and will end in May 2014), reportedly led to a gross margin per hectare increase from $350 to $1,691 for rice farmers in its project areas. (See USAID article). During 2016, the third year of a partnership between Buddhist Global Relief (BGR) and Oxfam America expands on two prior years of development work focused in the Artibonite Valley in Haiti (see details). A USAID-funded agriculture project Change Lavi Plantè includes an 18-month SRI scaling up effort on over 1,300 ha in St. Marc commune. During December 2016, a household impact evaluation led by University of California, Davis and the Haitian State University FAMV was concluded. The research found that while improved rice production techniques significantly increase yields, in Haiti SRI requires 25% more labor than traditional methods, which does not necessarily leave most households better off except those with relatively inexpensive household labor.

Progress and Activities

2017 Updates
  • arrowAVANSE Farmer Finds Success with SRI

    [April 4, 2017] An item on DAI Global's facebook page (April 4, 2107) relates the story of Nerie Princivil (right), an early adopter of SRI, which was introduced to her by the Feed the Future USAID Haiti's Appui a la Valorisation du potentiel Agricole du Nord, a la Securite Economique et Environnementale (AVANSE) project. Adoption of SRI method drastically changed her life. She grows sweet potatoes, corn, and plantains on her smaller piece of land, and practices SRI on her larger parcel of land. With the traditional method, Pincivil used about 17.5 kg of seeds to prepare her land, while with SRI she only uses 2.5 kg of rice seed. With the old method, she spent 15,000 gourdes ($220 USD) to prepare her parcel, and would harvest 20,000 gourdes ($294 USD) worth of rice. During this past planting season, she invested 10,000 gourdes ($147 USD) and made a profit of 50,000 gourdes ($753 USD)— an impressive increase.

    In 2014, AVANSE introduced the SRI to Haiti's Northern Corridor to respond to the low rice yields. SRI has proven to be adaptable and popular with rice farmers just like Nerie. [see 2014 AVANSE article below for earlier report.]

2016
  • arrow Household-level Impact Evaluation for SRI in the Artibonite Valley Completed

    [December 21, 2016] Nearly four years after it was conceived, the household impact evaluation led by University of California, Davis and the Haitian State University FAMV was concluded. A video by the PI, Travis Lybbert, summarizes the results. The research found that while improved rice production techniques do result in significantly higher yields, in Haiti SRI requires 25% more labor than traditional methods. The increased expense for labor means that SRI does not necessarily leave most households better off, although those with access to relatively cheap household labor do experience a positive impact on revenue. Two public events to disseminate and discuss the research results were held in Haiti during early December. An event in the Artibonite Valley was attended by approximately 75 people, including many project participants, and was widely covered by local radio stations. Another event in Port-au-Prince was attended by 100 people, including representatives of government offices, universities, NGOs, and USAID. That event also enjoyed strong media coverage, by television, radio, and Haiti’s newspaper of record, Le Nouvelliste, which published a front-page article (in French) on the event. [See also video (in Creole), and Oxfam documents in English and French that were distributed at the Port-au-Prince event. The original project objectives are described below.]

  • arrow USAID-funded Change Lavi Plantè Project in Haiti Promotes SRI, July 15

    [July 15, 2016] SRI-Rice is assisting the USAID-funded agriculture project Change Lavi Plantè in designing an 18-month SRI scaling up effort on over 1,300 ha in St. Marc commune. On July 7-9,  Erika Styger and Joeli Barison led a 3-day training of trainers for over 30 project and government staff in Montrouis (see photo at right). Styger also sourced a Mandava weeder and an upland weeder from SOCAFON in Mali. The Mandava weeder, which is new to Haiti, appeared to be better adapted to Haitian soil conditions than the existing cono-weeder; the project will now multiply the Mandava weeder and make it available in the St. Marc Commune. (See article on the initial project activities for 2016 and a video on SRI progress over the past year).

  • arrow Buddhist Global Relief Support for SRI in the Artibonite Valley Enters Third Year

    [May 2016] A partnership between Buddhist Global Relief (BGR) and Oxfam America is now in its third year of a three-year program; it expands on two prior years of development work focused in the Artibonite Valley in Haiti. The purpose of this project is to promote SRI among a new set of farmers in four additional crop blocks named Haut Zin, Potri, Castera, and Eroi. The proposed activities to be served by the partnership are the following: (1) rehabilitation of irrigation infrastructure serving the Haut Zin, Potri, Castera, and Eroi crop blocks; (2) support for the rehabilitation of agricultural roads within the crop blocks; (3) support for agricultural technicians to provide ongoing monitoring of and support to farmers implementing SRI within the four crop blocks; (4) support for the establishment of a regional coordination body to defend the interests of farmers in Haiti’s rice sector; and (5) ongoing monitoring and project support. [See BGR article for details.]

2015
  • arrowSRI Success in the Artibonite Valley Leads to Hopes of Improved Marketing
    [March 2015] According to an article in the Oxfam CloseUp magazine, farmers who have had success with SRI methods after receiving training from Oxfam have influenced farmer organizations in the Artibonite Valley to form a consortium to look for new buyers and increase their rice revenue, rather than going through the usual middlemen. Since Oxfam America and its local partners first began promoting SRI in 2011, they have reported trained nearly 1,000 farmers; over 250 of these farmers are now using the full method on at least part of their land, while others have incorporated some aspects of SRI into their traditional activities. Oxfam reports that on set of irrigated fields, SRI harvests in 2013 increased, on average, by 1.5 metric or more tons per hectare over traditionally-grown rice. The yields in 2014 yields showed comparable results. (See article in Oxfam CloseUp Magazine for details.)
2014
  • arrowUSAID's AVANSE Project Records Success; Will Expand Area under SRI

    [September 30, 2014] An article in a USAID/AYITI August publication provides positive farmer perspectives on the SRI. SRI is being promoted by the USAID-sponsored Appui a la Valorisation du potentiel Agricole du Nord, a la Securite Economique et Environnementale (AVANSE) project, which is being carried out together with DAI. The article says that an estimated 650 hectares of rice will be planted with SRI methods this coming season (2014-15). (A significant increase over the 124 hectares planted using SRI last season). A flagship Feed the Future program in the region, AVANSE is one of the USAID Forward initiatives that is intended to increase incomes while also developing local companies into direct partners of USAID’s assistance to Haiti.

  • arrowUSAID's Feed the Future (FTF) West Project To End in May 2014

    [February 10, 2014] USAID's Feed the Future (FTF) West project has promoted SRI with about 1,500 farmers in Haiti since it began in 2010. The project, which began by running side-by-side SRI demonstration plots to convince farmers, has reportedly led to a gross margin per hectare increase from $350 to $1,691. FTF West’s staff believe that for rice farmers, many of whom doubled their yields, this difference represents the potential for a better future and improved way of life. While the FTF West project ends in May 2014, successful farmers will hopefully continue to promote SRI within their communities. (See USAID article for details.)

  • arrowZhoucen Feng, SRI-Rice/iF Foundation Intern, Works on SRI Pilot Projects in the North

    [March 15, 2014] During the latter half of 2013, Zhoucen Feng, a SRI-Rice intern who recently graduated from Cornell University, helped a pilot SRI project being conducted by the iF Foundation project in Milot, Haiti, to correctly collect harvest data and test several cell phone-based data collection models. She traveled to Cornell in January 2014 to consult with SRI-Rice staff and presented a seminar on her work to the SRI-Rice Group and the Cornell Community. Zhoucen returned to Haiti in February 2014 to continue her work with the next season of the pilot SRI project. You can read more about the day-by-day progress and constraints Zhoucen experienced in her blog, My learning and work experience in Haiti. The video at right gives you an idea of what it's like to plant SRI rice in northern Haiti! (See also iF Foundation article.)

  • arrow Buddhist Global Relief Enables Oxfam SRI Expansion in Artibonite Valley

    [January 12, 2014] A 2-year grant from Buddhist Global Relief is reportedly enabling Oxfam to expand its program in Haiti providing SRI training. Beginning in 2013, Oxfam launched a major effort to enhance its SRI promotion efforts in the Artibonite Valley. Currently, Oxfam has been working with local partners to provide SRI training and support, agricultural input/services credit, and a variety of other services to roughly 150 farmers. The farmers have been organized into two crop blocks that together comprise roughly 40 hectare of irrigated rice paddy. A two-year grant from Buddhist Global Relief is enabling Oxfam to expand the number of farmers receiving SRI training and related services within the two crop blocks. Specifically, the grant will enable Oxfam and its local partners to provide comprehensive SRI training to 30 additional men and women farmers -; establish low-interest revolving credit funds for the purchase of agricultural inputs and services; purchase labor-saving agricultural equipment that is vital for SRI production; make improvements to rice processing facilities; and rehabilitate local irrigation canals. This work and the lessons learned will serve as a basis for expanding the work to six additional blocks, strategically located throughout the valley, over the next three years. (See article in Buddhist Global Relief blog for more details,)

2013
  • arrowHaitian Delegation Goes to Vietnam to Learn More about SRI

    [December 30, 2013] According to an Oxfam article, six months after visiting their counterparts in Vietnam to compare rice-growing methods, an Oxfam America-led delegation of Haitian farmers and agronomists reported that one of those methods used in Vietnam, SRI, has begun to take root in Haiti’s Artibonite Valley. Haitian farmers using SRI have reportedly boosted their rice yields by 50 percent to 100 percent. They include two farmers' associations supported by Oxfam America: Movement to Help the Women of Liancourt-Payen commune of Verrettes, and the Irrigators’ Association of Liancourt.

    According to the article, the women’s farming collective increased its yield to seven tons per hectare, up from less than five tons the previous year, according to Marie Melisena Robert, president and founder of the 200-member group who was among those who traveled to Vietnam. The Irrigators’ Association, an association of 450 farmers, saw yields reach seven tons, up from less than four tons per hectare. Likewise, in Petite Rivière, the local branch of the Ministry of Agriculture reported that its 2.5-hectare SRI pilot plot yielded 5.7 tons of rice per hectare - about double the usual harvest. Following the SRI guidelines can sometimes be more difficult in Haiti than in Vietnam, members of the delegation reported. Issues with water, weeding and the right seeds have made SRI more difficult in Haiti. However the overall positive results have encouraged the Haitians to persevere. (see Oxfam blog for details.)

  • arrowStudy to Understand the Household-Level Impacts of SRI Underway in the in the Artibonite Valley

    A study by researchers at the University of California, Davis, and the Facult d’Agronomie et Médecine Vétérinaire in Haiti will be undertaken from 2013 to 2016 in order to understand how SRI affects Haitians at the household level. It is part of the Feed the Future Innovation Labs for Collaborative Research and Collaborative Research Support Programs (CRSPs) that are funded by USAID and participating institutions. The project, called Household-Level Impacts of System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in Haiti: An SRI intervention with training, insured credit, and coordination by irrigation bloc, is being undertaken in collaboration with Oxfam America. As several organizations -including both USAID and Oxfam- are planning to scale up SRI interventions in Haiti in the coming years, the authors hope the study will inform these programs and supporting policy work by providing a unique evidence basis for these expectations and intervention strategies associated with SRI. (See proposal for details.)

  • arrow SRI Training Helps Bring SRI to More Farmers in Haiti's Coronel-Dubre Region

    iF and BUF SRI training 2013[June 20, 2013] With Better U Foundation support, the iF Foundation is stepping up efforts to expand SRI adoption in northern Haiti. During the first week of June, Erika Styger, Director of the SRI International Network and Resources Center (SRI-Rice) at Cornell University, lead the long-awaited SRI Training of Trainers program in the Coronel-Dubre region. Seventeen Haitians achieved "Level 1 Training of Trainers" status and eight farmers were recognized as "SRI Growers." Five demonstration plots were planted in Coronel and Dubre as part of the training.

    According to an article in Haiti Libre, heavy rains delayed planting of the two large pilot fields each on 2.5 hectares because the land was too wet to use the tractor. These pilot plots are expected be planted later in June. The iF Foundation will also introduce homegrown composting, small-scale mechanization and the installation of new mill equipment at our technical center in Coronel. The technical center will serve as the central support location for SRI production for rice and sugarcane throughout northern Haiti. [See Cornell Chronicle and Haiti Libre articles.]

FOR 2010 -2012 SRI ACTIVITIES, see SRI Haiti Archives

Reports and Articles

Presentations

Videos/Audio

  • 2017 (May 4). UC Davis Professor Travis Lybbert speaks on improving rice yields in Haiti. 5:32 min. Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Assets and Market Assets, YouTube. [Results of a study in an Oxfam project in the Artibonite Valley in Haiti.]
  • 2017 (February 5). Système Riziculture Intensif - SRI. 7:37 min. Filmotion Haiti channel, YouTube. [Creole language video produced by Oxfam and UC Davis about a workshop to deliver the results of a UCD research project on SRI.]
  • 2016 (May 20). Feed the Future: Agrikilti Moden an Ayiti. 44:13 min. Feed The Future Haiti Chanje Lavi Plantè channel, YouTube. [Creole language video about USAID's Feed the Future project in Haiti. Some discussion of SRI projects.]
  • 2016 (February 4). Bon metod pou plante diri. 12:07 min. Feed The Future Haiti Chanje Lavi Plantèr channel, YouTube. [Creole video about SRI in the Feed The Future Haiti Chanje Lavi Plantèr project in Haiti.]
  • 2014. (March 26). SRI Transplanting. Produced by Zhoucen Feng. 0:54 min. SRI in northern Haiti channel, YouTube.
  • 2014. (March 26). Using ropes with marks as grids for planting SRI rice. 0:11 min. Produced by Zhoucen Feng. 0:54 min. SRI in northern Haiti channel, YouTube.
  • Shah, Rajiv (interview by Neal Conan). 2012 (January 12). USAID's Shah Assesses Pace Of Haiti Recovery. NPR website. 16:56 min audiofile. [Interview on National Public Radio - transcript and audio].
  • 2011. System of Rice Intensification - Haiti Video. Produced by Better U Foundation, Better U Foundation website [Jim Carrey travels to Haiti to support SRI and other efforts.]
  • 2011 (September 8). A Simple Formula. Produced John McKenzie Media LLC in collaboration with Chemonics. 3:26 min. ChemonicsInt channel, YouTube. [Video about SRI activities in the Watershed Initiative for National Natural Environment Resources (WINNER) project that is funded by USAID and implemented by Chemonics International.]

Photo Collection

The SRI-Rice Haiti Photo Collection contains photographs taken by Erika Styger and others during her trips to Haiti in 2010 and 2011. Click on individual photos showing in the slideshow at the top of the page to enlarge them or to see captions. If you do not have Flash installed, click here to see individual photos that are made available on the Picasa website. See also the photos with map location.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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