The $127 million WINNER project, implemented by Chemonics International, began in June 2009 and was originally designed to protect watersheds by preserving hillsides, stabilizing waterways, and building non-farm livelihoods options. As a result of the 2010 earthquake, the government of Haiti recommitted to watershed management and food self-sufficiency and the USG created a post-earthquake strategy. At the same time, President Obama rolled out the Feed the Future initiative. The confluence of these three simultaneous forces resulted in USAID/Haiti and Chemonics International redesigning the WINNER project. While some aspects of the original design remained, such as continuing to rehabilitate watersheds and augment farmer incomes through increased agricultural productivity, the refocused Haiti WINNER project had many notable changes. These changes included shifting the focus of activities from watershed stabilization to food security and agricultural productivity, establishing a geographic zone of intervention (ZOI), and targeting smallholder farmers rather than individuals living in targeted watersheds. While the bulk of WINNER activities ended in early 2014, the final construction of a dam and the close out of the project were completed in February 2015
With the advent of FtF, USAID’s geographic focus shifted from the political boundaries of Cul de Sac, Saint-Marc, and Gonaives to the Cul de Sac and Matheux/Mirebalais economic corridors. The Matheux corridor includes the two major watersheds of Saint Marc/Montrouis and Archaie/Cabaret.
The WINNER project was redesigned “to increase food and economic security by increasing rural incomes in selected corridors, improving agricultural productivity, stabilizing watersheds, and increasing the value of sales in key value chains” as its project goals. The Haiti WINNER project has three objectives which contribute to the overall Feed the Future (FtF) goals of increasing household incomes and reducing hunger. To successfully grow crops in the productive plains of Cul de Sac and Matheux, hillside erosion needs to be substantially reduced. The project, therefore, stabilized the hillsides by planting vegetation and building water management infrastructure such as canals and gabions. Lastly, to maximize the gains of growing more food and to further increase farmer incomes, the project worked to reduce barriers for smallholder farmers to trade their commodities. These barriers included high transportation costs, lack of market information, unregulated markets, and preventable postharvest losses.
• Improve livelihoods in the watershed through agriculture & other
• Improve critical infrastructure
• Strengthen watershed governance
• Establish public-private partnerships
• Enhance earthquake recovery
• Increase agricultural productivity
• Improve watershed stability
• Strengthen agricultural markets
• In 2012, average yield of corn increased by 341 percent, beans by 100 percent, and rice by 128 percent.
• Five Public Private Partnerships reaching about 2,000 households and covering different aspects of agricultural value chains have been implemented.
• Feed the Future West activities generated increases in productivity that yielded $9 million in gross margins for farmers and total sales of over $14 million in 2012.