One of AREA's programs is to increase farmers' access to improved cultivars and seeds to increase agricultural productivity and food security in Haiti.
Legume Breeding Program
Legume crops such as common beans and peanuts are important for providing protein and nutrients necessary for adequate human nutrition. If managed optimally, legume species also can contribute significant levels of soil nitrogen through their symbiotic relationship with nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
AREA’s Legume Breeding Research program focuses on the genetic improvement of common beans and peanuts. The peanut breeding work started as a joint effort between the AREA project and the USAID-funded project under the Peanut Innovation Lab. Since the launch of the AREA project, AREA developed a bean improvement pipeline by planting and evaluating the seeds of the best-performing plants several times over and in different agroecologoical zones.
We are improving the genetics of common beans and peanuts to develop cultivars adapted to Haiti and that are acceptable to Haitian farmers and consumers.
Maize Seed System
The majority of farmers in Haiti use adapted but low-yielding maize cultivars that meet their needs and are acceptable to Haitian consumers. The AREA project partnered with International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) to identify higher-performing maize cultivars suitable for Haiti. After extensive testing on various CIMMYT varieties, one variety, Mayi Plus 1, or MP1 (S10TLYNGSHGAB01), was selected for seed multiplication and as a candidate to replace the Hugo (HP1) variety that was introduced more than 10 years ago. Working with CIMMYT, AREA is training farmers to produce seeds of these improved maize varieties. Additionally, AREA is training agricultural professionals to design and implement variety trials that integrate participatory breeding evaluations by farmers.