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U.S. assists Haitian mango exports

U.S. assists Haitian mango exports

   The U.S. Agency for International Development has opened two post-harvest mango centers in Haiti on Thursday to help increase production and incomes for thousands of Haitian farmers.

   The centers will prepare produce, particularly mangos, for export by improving packaging methods and meeting standards of foreign importers who lack significant mango production domestically.

   It's estimated the centers could increase farming incomes for those using them by 20 percent. 'These centers teach farmers how to better package and sell their produce, which will increase their marketability and raise incomes.' said USAID Haiti Mission Director Carleene Dei, in a statement.

   Mangos are Haiti’s second-largest export crop after coffee, but farmers struggle to get the fruit efficiently from tree to market. Mango farmers on average lose 30 percent to 40 percent of their post-harvest crop due to lack of training and infrastructure. Poor packaging also bruises or destroys mangos, making them unsuitable for consumption, and foreign-importers must be able to trace and verify the origin of the mangos.

   The centers were formed through a new public-private partnership between USAID, CNFA, and agribusiness firm JMB S.A., in addition to Mobilization to Save Agricultural production and the Agricultural Company for the Production and Marketing. The total budget for this project is $248,328. USAID funded $173,328 while $75,000 in funds came from CNFA and JMB. The project was implemented by CHF International Haiti, a Maryland-based nonprofit organization.

   Each center will provide 31 permanent jobs. The centers are expected to increase the production capacity of 9,500 mango farmers ' 8,000 in Cameau and 1,500 in Saut d’Eau.

   Mango trees are the most common trees in Haiti. More than 140 different varieties have been identified on the island, and because of Haiti’s different microclimates, mangoes can be produced almost year round. Only one type of mango, the Madame Francis, is exported.

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