Hope for Haiti
The average Haitian lives on less than $2 a day, hunger and malnutrition are commonplace—and the January 2010 earthquake made matters worse.
But more than 200,000 Haitians have the key to a better future growing in their backyards: the mango tree. Just weeks after the quake, TechnoServe entered into a partnership to help Haitians realize the value of their high-quality mangoes.
Haiti Hope Helps Mango Farmers
The Haiti Hope Project brings together public and private partners including The Coca-Cola Company, the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, the Multilateral Investment Fund of the Inter-American Development Bank and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Haiti Hope will work with 25,000 mango farmers in the next five years to help them market their mangoes and secure the highest possible price for them. Haitian farmers produce about 500 million pounds of mangoes annually, but fewer than five percent reach the lucrative export market. With proper training and market connections, more of these farmers will use their mango trees to create sustainable incomes for their families.
To start, TechnoServe is working with eight existing farmer groups comprising thousands of smallholder farmers. Our detailed program shows farmers how to better care for their trees, produce and harvest higher-quality mangoes, and meet export requirements.
Local trainers—who know their communities best—will introduce these improved practices. The partners in Haiti Hope are forging connections with mango exporters and other industry and government stakeholders. And we plan to work with financial institutions to provide credit to farmers, utilizing loan guarantees provided by the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.
HIFIVE Promotes Entrepreneurship
TechnoServe is also a partner in HIFIVE (Haiti Integrated Finance for Value Chains and Enterprises), a USAID initiative to improve access to financial services. Through HIFIVE we are providing business training to hundreds of Haitian entrepreneurs to help them become creditworthy. We have also launched a business plan competition, building on a proven model that has helped us create economic opportunities for poor people in 18 countries during the last eight years. From an initial pool of almost 400 entrepreneurs, a panel of expert judges has chosen 20 finalists to receive seed funding and follow-on consulting from TechnoServe business advisors.
Through the combined efforts of both these programs, TechnoServe is empowering Haitian people to better their communities through the benefits of private enterprise.