Inauguration of the rehabilitated irrigation system of Rivière Blanche
On Tuesday, August 7, 2012, Mr. Vernet Joseph, Secretary of State for Agriculture Renewal and Mr. Herbert Smith, USAID Acting Mission Director, attended the Riviere Blanche rehabilitated irrigation system inauguration ceremony in the town of Ti Slot-Ganthier. This ceremony marks the completion of bringing back more than 4,000 hectares of farmland into production.
Built in the 1920s and lacking proper maintenance, the Rivière Blanche irrigation system used to operate at only 10% of its capacity. Working in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, through subcontractors, the farmland has been returned to its productive capacity. In 2011, the U.S. government, through the USAID WINNER project, helped the Ministry of Agriculture, the mayor and Ganthier area producers in rehabilitating the left bank irrigation system which brought back 1800 hectares to active use.
With the rehabilitation of the Rivière Blanche right bank, seepage loss was reduced and the entire irrigation system is now functioning. In addition, with stabilized watersheds, the system is able to irrigate 2,500 hectares of land that will intensify agricultural production and improve living conditions in the Cul-de-Sac corridor.
Feed the Future, formerly known as WINNER, is a multi-sectorial project receiving technical and financial assistance from the U.S. government, in order to work with the Haitian authorities to improve living conditions by modernizing agriculture in rural areas. Through agricultural intensification, rehabilitation of rural infrastructure, and better management of natural resources, this USAID project aims at improving the livelihoods of the beneficiary farmers.