Project interim evaluation
The Small-Scale Irrigation Schemes Rehabilitation Project, financed by IFAD, the Fund for International Development of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the French Agency for Development (AFD), was formulated in 1989 and launched in 1996. IFAD, providing a loan of USD 10.57 million, is Haitis main partner in the project. The combined contributions of the two cofinanciers, which suspended their disbursements in the first half of 2001, total about USD 1.6 million. The project was scheduled to close on 30 September 2002, but a request for an extension to September 2003 has been submitted.
The project has included activities to rehabilitate small-scale irrigation schemes (petits périmètres irrigués (PPIs), organize water users and support the development of more than 3,000 hectares distributed among 26 PPIs in four districts of Haiti. These PPIs encompass between 30 and 500 hectares each. The principal crops grown are corn (maize), bananas, and beans. The logical framework for the project, developed in 1997, lists the following specific objectives:
The activities are grouped into four major components:
As regards execution modalities, the engineering works and activities related to dissemination and to structuring user organizations were entrusted to local firms or NGOs, which were designated Specialized Partner Operators. The officials of the Ministrys local agricultural offices, overseen by the departmental directorates, collaborated in the various activities.
The physical outcomes of the project were limited by the suspension of OPEC and AFD financing in 2001. Nonetheless, significant results were achieved. When the evaluation was conducted four months prior to the original closing date, 13 PPIs, covering a total area of about 1 100 hectares, had been rehabilitated. Urgently needed repairs or maintenance work had been carried out on the Saint-Marc irrigation schemes, the rehabilitation of which was to be financed with the AFD grant.
A total of 168 user groupsthe foundation of the water users associations that took responsibility for managing PPIshad been formed in the 26 PPIs targeted by the project. Twenty-four PPIs had water users associations. More than 2,000 farmers out of a total of about 5,000 had attended training seminars on PPI management and improvement and diversification of agricultural production. In addition, visits between users from different districts and to irrigated areas in the neighbouring Dominican Republic had been organized.
The project has facilitated access to various types of inputs and equipment by procuring them and then reselling them at cost price, including better seeds, fertilizers, phyto-sanitary products, harnesses for draught animals, mechanized ploughing services and pesticide spraying equipment. Two input stores managed by local groups have been created. Several in-kind credit activities have been undertaken, but the project has not given rise, as anticipated, to the establishment of local microfinance structures or the creation of organizations for product storage and marketing. The activities aimed specifically at women are still incipient.
At this early stage, based on the dynamics observed, the projects impact can be considered substantial in terms of the physical and financial assets of households, food and economic security and human assets. Impact is weaker in terms of strengthening social capital, attaining empowerment (as inadequate attention was paid to gender issues) and addressing environmental issues. Its impact on the regulatory framework, on the other hand, is judged to be substantial.
Most water users associations show potential for managing the PPIs. However, several problems were noted with regard to the crucial matter of the users organizations:
With regard to gender equity, a general lack of awareness of the issues involved was noted, especially a lack of information and understanding concerning the reasons and justification for promoting the advancement of women. Moreover, interventions aimed at women have a very weak potential for increased funding.
Numerous factors in the institutional and macroeconomic framework make it difficult to extract maximum value from investments:
The specific weaknesses of the project are:
With regard to actions that target women specifically, it is necessary to undertake a serious study, utilizing suitable instruments of economic analysis, to identify promising opportunities for women farmers in processing agricultural goods. This effort should lead to the formulation of projects and the women concerned should be encouraged to get in touch with institutions that can provide them with financial and technical (production, management) support.
Development support activities should focus in the short-term on plot irrigation techniques. Good farm water management should make fertilizers more effective - an essential complement to the broader efforts to organize water management at the PPI level.
In the medium term, research and development should prioritise the control of diseases affecting banana trees, production of artisanal corn (maize) seeds and development of appropriate techniques for herbicide use. The control of black Sigatoka and Erwinia is a condition for deriving value from investments in Port-de-Paix and Petit Goave, where bananas are a key crop. Support for small local networks of corn (maize) seed producers could take the form of grants to finance storage equipment coupled with existing local credit structures which are better suited to finance seed storage rather than productive activities. Farmers are also seeking solutions to alleviate the shortage of and rising cost of labour. Trials and training in the use of herbicides could be organized with private-sector marketers of inputs. Activities aimed at setting up strong production finance structures and measures to control gullies posing a threat to PPIs can only be planned in the long term.
1/ The Interim Evaluation Mission was composed of: Mr Alex Bellande, Mission Leader and responsible for the agricultural development and coordination components; Ms Danielle Magloire responsible for the gender aspects and the self-management of irrigation schemes; Mr Frino Saint-Jean responsible for the rehabilitation component and Mr Andreas Gerrits, Associate Evaluation Officer/IFAD, responsible for the monitoring and evaluation systems. Mr Gilles Damais, of IRAM, participated in the mission organization and revised the evaluation documents. Mr Paolo Silveri, Evaluation Officer/IFAD, joined the mission to participate in the evaluation workshop.