Social enterprise Acceso Haiti receives $750,000 from IDB Lab to support new community processing center and expand the production of superfood moringa

The funding will support a pilot among farmers to grow and process moringa leaf, and increase financing opportunities for peanut farmers. 

May 11, 2022 | Mirebalais, Haiti – Social enterprise Acceso Haiti will support local farmers to tap into growing demand for superfood moringa thanks to a $750,000 funding package from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). 

The funding from the Innovation Laboratory of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB Lab), which includes a $500,000 loan and $250,000 grant, will support a pilot involving 600 farmers, who are growing moringa crops, that links them to a new community processing center being built by Acceso Haiti to commercialize the crop.  

The leaves of moringa, a fast-growing, highly adaptable and drought-resistant tree that thrives in the Haitian climate, can be ground into a powder and added to diets as a health supplement given its antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. The global moringa products market size was $7.08 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $14.8 billion by 2028. At present, moringa is mainly planted in Haiti for live-fencing to divide agricultural land rather than for commercial use.  

Moringa has enormous potential for Haiti and Haitian farmers as a cash crop given the rising international demand and the country’s proximity to US markets,” said Rob Johnson, COO of Acceso.This important funding from IDB Lab will allow us to overcome some of the challenges that smallholder farmers face to create new jobs and opportunities for livelihoods, while incorporating Haiti into the global moringa value chain.” 

Acceso Haiti, which provides financial support and training to farmers, has secured buying contracts for moringa leaf powder and identified several domestic and international buyers interested in the purchase of moringa leaf powder, seeds and the oil produced through cold-press extraction.  

The funding will also support more than 2,000 peanut farmers in the Central Plateau through the expansion of Acceso Haiti’s financing program. Since 2014, the social enterprise has supported more than 7,000 peanut farmers to increase production volumes and quality, with harvests then sold to buyers – including peanut manufacturers or non-profits producing peanut based nutritious foods – or processed into Lavi, Acceso Haiti’s peanut butter that is exported to the US and Canada. 

To support smallholder farmers, Acceso Haiti will offer three types of financing dedicated to farmers: inputs provision, cashflow or payments before harvest with guaranteed purchase contracts, and small loans, below-market rate, to strengthen the local ecosystem while investing in yield improving mechanization, inputs, and other support.  

According to IDB Country Strategy for Haiti, “The challenges in agriculture have a long history and important consequences. The product per worker and per hectare has declined continuously over the past decades and is now 25% lower in real terms than in 1996.”  

IDB Lab is supporting Acceso Haiti as it brings its experience from working with peanut farmers in the Central Plateau to the moringa expansion opportunity and is currently in the process of developing Haiti’s first organically-certified moringa leaf Community Processing Center with the goal of creating a prototype that can be replicated in similar rural communities around the country in future.” 

Acceso Haiti is currently completing construction of Haiti’s first fully equipped, and organically certified Community Processing Center. IDB Lab is also financing the following activities to support farmers i) Prototype design, engineering and construction documents; (ii) Food processing, certifications and quality control to meet export standards; (iii) 12 hectares of anchor production and demonstration plot setup and operations; (iv) Smallholder production technical assistance; (v) Acceso’s technology platform (Extensio) integration and, (vi) Integrated technology platform piloting.   

For more information or interview requests, contact:
Donna Bowater
Marchmont Communications
donna@marchmontcomms.com
+61 434 635 099

About IDB  

The IDB Group is the leading source of development finance for Latin America and the Caribbean. It helps to improve lives by providing financial solutions and development expertise to public and private-sector clients. The Group comprises the IDB, which has worked with governments for more than 60 years; IDB Invest, which serves the private sector; and IDB Lab, which tests innovative ways to enable more inclusive growth.  

IDB Lab is the innovation laboratory of the IDB Group. It seeks to empower poor and vulnerable populations and activate new and sustainable engines of inclusive growth in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). To do it, IDB Lab mobilizes financing, knowledge, and connections to test early-stage entrepreneurial solutions and to develop the ecosystems where these can thrive. As a result, IDB Lab drives economic and social inclusion at scale by creating quality jobs, improving the productivity of small companies, and expanding access to essential services, all while addressing the climate crisis as well as gender and diversity gaps.  

Since 1993, IDB Lab has approved more than US$ 2 billion in over 2,700 projects deployed across 26 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.