WASHINGTON, July 28 -- The Inter-American Development Bank issued the following news release:
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a $14 million grant to help the Government of Haiti (http://www.iadb.org/en/countries/haiti/hope-for-haiti,1001.html) reduce plant and livestock losses and increase exports by modernizing its agricultural health services. The Government of Haiti is matching the IDB's pledge with $2 million of its own funds.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development, through its Agricultural Health Unit, will invest in infrastructures, equipment, modernization of procedures, and capacity building, to improve key agricultural health services such as epidemiologic vigilance, diagnostic capacities, risk analysis, and pest and disease control, with a special effort to decentralize field services all across the country and improve interaction with producers and private sector professionals.
Until the 1990s, agriculture accounted for nearly half of Haiti's GDP. While nearly half of Haitians still farm, the agricultural sector's GDP contribution has dropped to 22.5 percent. Part of this downturn is attributed to institutional weaknesses in responding to vulnerability to pests and diseases.
Classic Swine Fever and Teschen diseases cause more than $1 million of annual losses in the pig supply chains, and Newcastle disease costs more than $1.5 million in poultry losses. Pests such as the "Crazy Ant" cause losses of $11 million per year to both crops and livestock. Should exports of mangos be suspended due to a fruit fly infestation, economic losses could reach $10 million a year.
The disbursement period for this grant will be 60 months.
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