Higher incomes for mango farmers in Haiti

Wageningen World, Author: Rik Nijland, September 2018


‘A lot of mangos disappear or end up as juice in Haiti before they get to the harbour in Portau-Prince,’ says researcher Rene Oostewechel of Wageningen Food & Biobased Research. He and Jan Brouwers of Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation did a study for the World Bank to see how mango farmers could earn more from exports to the US.

This would require technical improvements such as different cultivation methods, good timing of the harvest and better refrigeration. The Wageningen experts also recommended setting up a more transparent system of trade, which the World Bank wants to experiment with. ‘This is a new form of Fairtrade, in fact,’ says the researcher.

For every box of mangos, the harvest location and temperature during transport are recorded digitally using blockchain technology, as are the costs of trading and transport.

The payment system is linked to this data. The Haitian farmer owns the mango until it reaches the supermarket shelf. In the end he is paid the difference between the sale price in the shop and the costs accrued along the way. Currently, farmers sell their mangos for a few cents per fruit before they have even harvested them.

Yet the new system may pose some dangers, warns Oostewechel. ‘The farmers get their money later and they run more risk – if something goes wrong in transit for example.’


Categories Haiti News | Tags: | Posted on September 23, 2018

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