Make people live off
the Land sustainably

Services for smallholder irrigation users in Haiti

Working with a consortium of 12 smallholder irrigation-user associations (5,000 users) to help rehabilitate and manage irrigation systems in the Sud-Est department (Jacmel); implementation of a marketing service for agricultural products.

This project was a joint initiative between three French NGOs (IRAM, GRET, and AVSF) and the South and was carried out in Haiti, Mali, and Cambodia. The project ran from 2009 to 2012, and its objective was to improve the management of smallholder irrigation systems used in agricultural production by improving the quality and ensuring the continuity of the services available to irrigation users.

Since 2003, AVSF has been working in partnership with the Regional Coordination of South-Eastern [Smallholder] Organizations (CROSE) in the Sud-Est department of Haiti to provide structure for and help strengthen the Confédération des Usagers pour le Développement du Sud-Est (CUDES, a confederation of irrigation-user associations). CUDES, a real institutional innovation, currently comprises 12 associations from all of the department’s irrigated plains, from Anse-à-Pitre to Côte-de-Fer. This confederation represents nearly 5,000 irrigation users over an area of more than 3,000 hectares. CUDES strives to achieve the following objectives:

  • ensuring easier access to water: improved management and maintenance of irrigation systems, better distribution of water;
  • providing support services and technical advising in water management and agricultural production to member associations and irrigation users: training, modifications to the water turn, financial and administrative training, implementing a system of charges, strengthening the associations, conflict management, negotiating funding for the rehabilitation of networks;
  • providing economic services: supplying inputs and production tools (agricultural inputs, corn and bean seeds, market-gardening seeds), joint marketing services (buying and selling center in Meyer);
  • gaining regional and national recognition for the irrigation sector and advocating against aggressive urbanization of irrigated land.

From 2009 to 2011, this project succeeded in strengthening CUDES and improving the water management services already offered to its 12 member organizations. It helped strengthen the pooling of services within CUDES, which a single irrigation-user organization would not be able to manage on its own.

This project received funding from the Agence Française de Développement.