Pro-Huerta Programme Haiti
Pro-Huerta Programme Haiti
Contributing to a healthy diet and environmental protection through training for the implementation of agroecological practices in family, school and community gardens and farms


The Pro-Huerta Programme in Haiti, an adaptation of the Pro-Huerta Programme in Argentina, was a food security initiative aimed at small-scale agroecological production of fresh foods requiring significant involvement by the target population. The programme moved under the umbrella of South-South and Triangular Cooperation through alliances between Haiti, Argentina, Canada, Spain, and international organizations. The Programme was implemented across Haiti and involved over 37,656 families (almost 260,000 people), 75 schools, and 913 community organizations, all of which were provided training and technical assistance in establishing vegetable gardens and farms. To that end, a network was established of 4,728 local volunteer advocates (of which 40 per cent were women), through which the amount of food consumed, especially vegetables, and the frequency of eating were increased. Each family was able to grow between 10 and 15 species of horticultural crops. Every USD dollar invested in the programme yielded USD 4 in food.

Towards a Solution

The Pro-Huerta Programme, a long-standing public policy in Argentina spanning over 30 years, was established by the Government of Argentina in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Development and the National Agricultural Technology Institute (INTA). This initiative aimed to support vulnerable families and producer organizations, with a primary focus on enhancing food security and sovereignty by providing access to nutritious foods and promoting a balanced diet.

The Pro-Huerta Programme in Haiti drew inspiration from Argentina's successful experience. The programme's implementation in Haiti became possible through cooperation between INTA, the Ministry of Social Development, and the Ministry of the Exterior (Argentine Fund for Horizontal Cooperation). Additionally, the coordination efforts of the IICA Delegation in Haiti and Haiti's Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Rural Development (MARNDR) played a pivotal role.

The primary goal was to stimulate community-based food production by fostering collaboration between the Ministry of Agriculture, its regional offices, and various community organizations. These organizations included schools, orphanages, training centers, farmer and women's associations, professional institutions, parishes, churches, and community leaders. During the pilot phase, other programmes and agencies active in Haiti also joined, expanding the initiative's scope.

Despite encountering significant challenges, such as extreme weather events and natural disasters like hurricanes, tropical storms, and the 2010 earthquake and cholera outbreak, the Pro-Huerta Programme persevered in its on-ground activities. The programme demonstrated flexibility by adapting to these adversities. For example, after natural disasters, adjustments were made to ensure seeds reached the most affected areas, allowing communities to replant their gardens. Following the 2010 earthquake, containment activities were conducted with local specialists and advocate/families in the hardest-hit areas. The programme's components were also modified to align with the evolving context.

The Pro-Huerta Programme achieved notable success in improving food security in Haiti. A survey conducted by Haiti's National Coordination of Food Security in 2013 revealed that 96 per cent of the beneficiary population improved their diet. Additionally, the percentage of the population living in food insecurity decreased by 5 per cent through the agroecological production of green vegetables in nearly 40,000 gardens, according to data from the United Nations Development Programme in 2016. Furthermore, participating families saw their food expenses drop from 67 per cent to 33 per cent in 2013.

The programme introduced various successful agroecological practices for producing new fruits and vegetables, including Swiss chard, which became widely consumed thanks to the programme. The quality of locally valued species was also enhanced. Social capital was strengthened by training 4,828 volunteer advocates, of which 40 per cent were women. Moreover, 37,656 families received training and support in establishing agroecological gardens, and an additional 5,060 families launched poultry farms. The programme also reached 75 schools and established a network of 913 community organizations across 140 intervention areas. Over the course of the project, more than 70 Haitian agricultural professionals were trained in agroecological food production, with a focus on food security and active involvement of local organizations.

While the Pro-Huerta Programme in Haiti concluded in 2016 as planned, some collaborators have expressed interest in resuming the initiative. Haitian specialists who participated in the programme have indicated that advocate groups continue to operate, and horticultural and poultry activities persist in various areas of Haiti. Additionally, the seeds provided by the programme continue to be propagated in these regions.

The success of this experience led to cooperation agreements and similar pilot projects in other countries, including Guatemala, Mozambique, and Honduras. The training of over 200 agricultural specialists and authorities from Latin America, the Caribbean, Mozambique, and Angola in Argentina, in partnership with the Japan International Cooperation Agency, demonstrates the programme's international impact.

For any future initiatives, active involvement of the target population and collaboration with community organizations in the intervention areas are essential. Ongoing dialogue and coordination with key stakeholders in Triangular Cooperation, as well as local government levels, remain crucial. The programme's flexibility in terms of organization and implementation is vital to ensure its continuity and adaptability in the face of natural disasters, leadership changes, and evolving circumstances. A unified team of local specialists and representatives from the various cooperating agencies is fundamental to the programme's success.

Contact Information

Luis Carlos Vargas Bolívar, Technical Specialist, Horizontal Cooperation Unit, Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA)

Countries involved

Argentina, Haiti

Supported by

Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA)

Implementing Entities

Ministry of Social Development (Argentina), National Agricultural Technology Institute (INTA-Argentina), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship (Argentina), Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development (MARNDRHaiti) and the National Coordination for Food Security (CNSA-Haiti)

Project Status


Project Period

2005 - 2016

URL of the practice

Primary SDG

02 - Zero Hunger

Primary SDG Targets

2.1, 2.2, 2.4

Secondary SDGs

03 - Good Health and Well-being, 05 - Gender Equality, 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production, 15 - Life on Land

Secondary SDG Targets

3.9, 5.5, 12.1, 12.2, 15.1

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