UF Graduate School Aids Empowering Women in Haitian Agriculture

Release Date: August 12 2019

The UF Graduate School’s Matt Mitterko (Graduate International Outreach Associate Director) and Agronomy Department academic advisor Cynthia Hight furthered the University of Florida’s global reach July 9-10, 2019 by participating in the AREA (Appui à la Recherche et au Développement Agricole) Project professional development conference in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.


Part of the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Feed the Future Haiti program, the conference focused on advancing educational and career opportunities for Haitian women. While playing an increased role in the country’s agricultural sector, which accounts for a fourth of its gross domestic product, less access to financing, land, and higher education hinder their greater potential for productivity and leadership.


The conference drew more than 150 young women at Port-au-Prince’s Karibe Convention Center, where presentations and training sessions focused on advancing their success in boosting Haitian agriculture, combatting food insecurity, and engaging in gainful enterprise in the interest of economic growth, personal empowerment, and gender equity.


UF representatives Mitterko and Hight offered guidance on applying to graduate schools effectively. The University of Florida hosts a special program where $13.7 million in USAID funding enables talented and dedicated Haitian scholars to earn master’s degrees in agricultural sciences, with an eye toward developing expertise and skills that will improve the country’s food security and economic stability. The program just graduated its first cohort of 17 students, who marked the milestone with a daylong research forum on August 9 at UF’s Straughn Professional Development Center.


For more information, click on this link: Empowering Women in Haitian Agriculture: UF at AREA Project Conference in Port-au-Prince