Above: an irrigation channel in Haiti (IDB Photo/Paul Constance)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
A start-up company intending to bing innovation to Haiti’s agriculture sector is one of 101 companies to be elected into Start-Up Chile, the Chilean government’s innovation incubator programme.
The initiative, which gives equity-free seed money to chosen companies, is managed by Chile’s Ministry of Economy. Approximately 1,500 companies applied.
The company, Mache.A, is the brainchild of Haitian-American entrepreneur Saheed Badmus, who is looking to return investment to Haiti’s farming sector by making it more profitable.
Badmus, a graduate of the University of Maryland College Park, created Mache.A as a mobile and web-based agricultural platform that helps connect small-scale farmers to organic retailers and processors by aggregating their supply.
Mache.A was a semifinalist at the 2012 Dell Social Innovation Competition.
Haiti has been working to modernize its agricultural policies and institutions of late, with a particular focus on improving the management practices of the country’s Ministry of Agriculture.
Haiti recently received a $15 million grant from the Inter-American Development Bank for that purpose.