UFondwa Sweet Potato R & D Center Beauregard Import Pilot 



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UFondwa Is Leading The Smart Farming Of Orange Sweet Potatoes And Leaves To Help Farmers Increase Incomes And Alleviate Hunger Across Haiti,Through An Advanced Agribusiness Program

Under the leadership of the Global Institute For Transformation, a series of pilots were conducted for growing Orange Flesh Sweet Potatoes and their Leaves across Haiti, in collaboration with the Father Joseph Network, the Wynne Farm,  the University of Fondwa.  The groups worked together to develop a  Sweet Potato Research & Development Center and Agribusiness Capability.

Father Joseph's goals for the R&D Center include developing a "toolkit" of support for peasant farmers to enable optimum yields and value chain creation, in accordance with the UN SDG strategies for future-state farmng.  This involved providing: education on the nutritional and economic development value of sweet potatoes and their leaves; farm extension training from UFondwa and APF; planting tools; slips; soil testing and treatments; smart, real-time crop monitoring and management; value-added crop conversion to marketable products for grocers, bakeries and restaurants; and sales support for marketing product. 

This  project includes engaging and integrating multiple collaboration parties in support of the Center, including: Poznan Supercomputing & Networking Center (PSNC), Poland; Louisiana State University; the Association of the Peasants of Fondwa (APF) field extension services; APF's Local Development Committees/3Legs economic development initiatives; and the Sisters of St. Anthony of Fondwa for food preparation.

Results of 2019 Pilot

In addition to the goal of growing potatoes for both consumption and sales, other key goals of this project were to establish a new propagation capability to extend yields and lower costs, establish use of soil testing and raised seed beds for yield optimization, and  to build an appreciation for the edible leaves as product.

As an example from among the sites planted, the 39 LSU seed tubers grown in one site formed 153 stems at a rate of 4 stems per tuber on average. This led to the manufacture of 1823 cuttings already  planted for the next  season.

In total (across all beneficiaries), at the time of this report more than 5000 cuttings had already been planted from a  total of 185 seed tubers  Providing good climatic, maintenance and fertility conditions are maintained as adequate, one could expect a yield of 29 tonnes/HA. This means, for the 5000 cuttings from the 185 seed potatoes, a production yield of 3.7 metric tons of bio-fortified Sweet Potato tubers, with additional propagation still occurring for a new generation

The tubers represented materials for new strategy of propagation. This is an innovation which permits the tuber to produce its own proper plants. This technique drives the production of many plants over many small areas. Historically, the typical sweet potato plantings in Fondwa had a strain on the cost of production of more than 45%  when buying cuttings for each planting from an external party  (in Leogane city for example for those in Fondwa). However, with its own production, the cost of cuttings for the  planting was reduced to 25% on average. 



Click this link to read the results from UFondwa's initial pilot tes of importing and growing Orange Flesh Sweet Potato slips, imported from Louisiana State University, including the introduction of soil testing.  (Pictured in the upper left corner frame above.)


Executive Summary Of UFondwa's Sweet Potato R & D Center Agribusiness Specialization

Excerpts From The Preliminary Plan For The University Of Fondwa Sweet Potato R&D Center Include:

Given the severe need to address food security and economic development throughout Haiti -- including the particular need to address the high level of hunger facing the children of Haiti -- the University of Fondwa is offering Haiti Sweet Potato Research & Development Center and Smart Agribusiness Specialization.

This project will likely involve the following key activities:

  • Advancing small scale farming utilizing Fondwa University agronomy and business management expertise to test and document best practices 

  • PSNC smart farming technologies, including but not limited to supercomputing, with web portals for the program and every participating site; databases for monitoring, managing and evaluating program and farm-specific results; soil sensors; web cameras; real-time weather data;research data; training videos and more

  • Wynne Farm agronomy and training support for educating on sweet potato farming best practices to yield optimum harvests and for managing initial small scale farm deployments

  • Importing of soil test kits and training on soil testing through the support of a Wynne Farm agronomist

  • Louisiana State University expertise and Beauregard Variety seed beds/slip importing into Haiti

  • Testing various SP varieties including sourcing strategies for Orange, documenting yields, etc.

  • FJN/UFondwa/APF development of a “Tool Kit” for farmers, including micro-finance, implements/tools, slips, and provisions for potential buyback of some portion of the crops for payback of the financing

  • Harvesting seed bed growth and initial clippings as new slips for propagation/potential sale to others

  • Working with Sisters of St. Anthony of Fondwa in the development of a Children’s Hunger Alleviation Program, including producing products that leverage both potatoes and leaves, such as soups

  • Development of clinical support encouraging use of sweet potatoes and leaves and ideally documenting impacts, through the Sisters of St. Anthony of Fondwa's clinics and schools

  • UNIF research and development of an array of value-added products that can be produced from sweet potatoes; assessment of their market potential; definition of respective manufacturing, regulatory compliance, marketing and distribution/channel strategies for each value added product; development of plans and services to get these value added products to market; and the determination of the appropriate mix of food retained for hunger and sold for development.  It is anticipated that this endeavor will be supported by UEPG, the State University of Brazil at Ponta Grossa

  • FJN/UFondwa/UEPG research on utilization of leaves for nutrition and product sales; on cooking / product preparation requirements

  • APF deployment of sweet potato farming at other locations throughout Haiti, including through APF Local Development Committees/3Legs project 

  • FJN/UFondwa/APF pursuit of partners to support the manufacture/distribution of value-added product

  • FJN/UFondwa/APF pursuit and development of markets in the U. S. for selling sweet potato products

  • APF involvement in “co-op” creation to aggregate harvests, and provide job training and economic development, including through farming and value added product development

  • FJN pursuit of social capital funding strategies 

  • FJN's Haiti/U.S. church twinning initiatives for fundraising and solidarity

  • Potential extension to Malawi, Uganda, Greneda and other countries to leverage the program design and scaling capacity