UNIVERSITY OF FONDWA, HAITI (UNIF)
Create a new generation of Haitian citizens who will lead the sustainable and integrated development of their country with a sense of citizenship. Graduates of UNIF must contribute to the empowerment of their community of origin and help reconstruct the country through the communal sections.
UNIF’s mission is to educate young Haitian men and women in order to create wealth in rural Haiti. At UNIF, creating wealth means:
Economic Wealth through financial and entrepreneurial initiatives and jobs.
Intellectual Wealth through community-based education and research.
Environmental Wealth through preserving the environment in student endeavors and promoting stewardship of resources in rural communities.
UNIF strives to create wealth in rural communities so that all men, women, and children in Haiti may achieve their full human potential and live with dignity.
Under the leadership of GIFT, a series of pilots were conducted for growing orange-fleshed sweet potatoes and their leaves across Haiti, in collaboration with the Father Joseph Network, the Wynne Farm, and the University of Fondwa. These groups are working 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 farming. This involves 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.
SWEET POTATO SMART FARMING
UNIF's research is focused on 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 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.
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.
DR. RICOT SCUTT
Professor of Agronomy, University of Fondwa (UNIF)
Rector, University of Fondwa (UNIF)
Executive Secretary at Association of Peasant of Fondwa (APF)