Haiti: Sustainable Agriculture Project
In Haiti, more than half of the population lives below the poverty line, making roughly one dollar per day, and nearly half face problems related to malnutrition. With regard to agriculture, small local producers struggle to compete with big industries. However, intensive planting has caused soil erosion, at the same time that the forest has fallen to 2% of total land area. Poverty resulting from job insecurity and lack of jobs in general has led many to relocate to the Dominican Republic.
The ultimate goal of this project was to ensure food security in the area, but we also wanted to increase the agricultural productivity and the incomes of small producers in the regions of Cap-Rouge and Petite Rivière de l'Artibonite. More specifically, we sought to:
- increase the production of eggs, tubers, mixed flour and the raising of chickens and goats
- increase marketing for mixed flour
- improve the technical capacities of farming organisations in the field of organic farming
- instruct the youth on the importance of developing sustainable local agriculture
Alternatives worked alongside the Haitian Platform to Advocate Alternative Development (PAPDA) to create a program to improve local crop and livestock yield, and also to inform younger generations of the advantages and benefits of sustainable agricultural development. What we accomplished:
- planted four model farms in the two target regions to offer an organic farming training program to farmers. This program was also led by farmers, who covered topics including techniques for composting, organic pest control, organic fertilization and storage.
- organised an exchange program between Haitian farmers and agriculture specialists from the ANAP (Cuba) and from Alternatives
- held food processing workshops for the production of mixed flour
- created an incentive program with school cafeterias in order for them to reach supply agreements with local farmers
- organised popular theatre tours run by youth to raise awareness about sustainable development
*This was Alternatives’ second experience with the model farm program, the first having succeeded a few years prior in Indonesia.
**For more information on this subject, please see the alternative energy and urban agriculture projects in Haiti.