There’s an old parable that says, “Give a man a fish, feed him once; teach him to fish, feed him for life.” In Haiti, people living two orders of magnitude below poverty level have added a new line to that parable: “Give us water and we’ll fish.”

That’s exactly what UF/IFAS is doing, in cooperation with the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, one of India’s premiere agricultural universities: giving profoundly poor Haitians access to water through aquaculture ponds and watershed management training.

The project in Haiti is modeled after a successful community empowerment project in Damoh, India. A combination of aquaculture, traditional agriculture, and watershed management has been tremendously successful there.

The project in Haiti currently feeds 1,300 children daily. “We saw a dramatic rise in these children’s test scores when we started feeding them fish and other high-protein products, including poultry and goat meat,” Redden said. “The challenge now is to create a local industry that can grow the fish, birds, and goats, process the meat locally.”

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