UGA CAES Dean Angle with family near the Central Plateau Depot.
PMIL’s Haiti events began early Thursday morning June 11th, with a drive to the Central Plateau to visit an Acceso Peanut Enterprise Depot, the Partners in Health (PIH) RUTF factory, and a peanut nursery and research site.
Rob Johnson demonstrates aflatoxin field test to Dave Hoisington, Pat Wolff and Amrit Bart.
The depot is situated in a remote farming village in the central plateau. Residents of the area rely almost solely on farming for income.
At the depot, Rob Johnson, General Manager of Acceso Peanut Enterprise Corporation, explained the credit system that they use to allow farmers to purchase seed and then sell their crop back to the depot. Depot managers are hired from the local community and trained to use FarmForce software and tablets. Each depot manager is issued a tablet to sync information on credit, sales, projected yields, aflatoxin content and other measures for each farmer participating in the program.
Farmers participating in the system receive education on safe and productive agricultural practices, such as how to mitigate post-harvest aflatoxin. They also receive peanut seeds that have been tested and proven to be a productive and profitable variety in the area.
As part of the tour, they also described and demonstrated their method of aflatoxin testing.
The group also toured the Partners in Health RUTF factory near Mirebalais. The factory operates purely from donations and distributes the RUTF produced through PIH’s clinics in the area. They also purchase locally-grown peanuts from Acceso. In addition, Acceso contracts the facility to sort, shell and roast peanuts for sale to the commercial sector.
Following this the group headed to a PMIL research field site. The plot is used by PMIL researchers to evaluate new peanut varieties and various crop management practices.
Dean Angle, Dave Hoisington and Bob Kemerait observing peanuts in the field.