Iowa Public Television


UN Food Agency Urges Support for Haiti's $700 Million Agriculture Investment Plan

posted on January 29, 2010

ROME (AP) - The United Nations called Friday for donations for a $700 million agricultural investment fund for Haiti to help boost food production and create jobs.

The 18-month investment plan is part of the Haitian government's strategy to rebuild the country following the Jan. 12 earthquake, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization said.

Top among the requirements are seeds, tools and fertilizers so that farmers can begin planning in March for the spring planting season. Down the road, Haiti needs to repair a sugar refinery, rebuild collapsed riverbanks and restore damaged irrigation channels.

"The food situation in Haiti was already very fragile before the earthquake and Haiti was highly dependent on food imports," Alexander Jones, FAO's emergency response manager in Haiti said in a statement.

"With people moving back to the rural areas, growth in the Haiti agricultural sector is now an urgent priority and the Haitian government's plan does a very good job of laying down the immediate priorities."

Some 60 percent of Haitians lived in rural areas before the quake. An estimated 80 percent of them live on less than $2 a day.

Tags: agriculture Haiti hunger news poverty United Nations