Presence in the country:
Until the 1980s, the island was both wealthy (thanks to its crop exports to Europe: sugar, coffee, cotton, etc.) and self-sufficient in terms of food. Today, 55% of Haitians rely on imported food to feed themselves. Two-thirds of them are smallholders, impoverished by political and economic crises over the past few decades. These smallholders lack proper agricultural equipment, and have limited access to water, land, infrastructure, fertilizer, technical assistance, and capital. The small plots of land available, often very fragmented and in very steep slopes, are over-exploited and therefore degraded. Pulled into the vicious cycle of poverty, the most vulnerable smallholders look for alternative income-generation activities. However, some of them, such as charcoal production by cutting down trees, are far than sustainable. The degradation of ecosystems, soil erosion and soil degradation, constitute a big risk for Haitians, eespecially in regards to the growing challenges posed by climate change.
What we do:
- Supporting smallholder organizations’ access to fair trade export (for coffee, cocoa, and fruit) and to local markets (for plant and animal food products, milk, etc.);
- Strengthening the mini-dairies associated to the “Letagogo” network, which promotes local smallholder dairy production and supports organizations of livestock farmers;
- Supporting smallholder irrigation and agroecology practices;
- Developing innovative methods for the participatory reforestation of drainage basins, which are often highly degraded;
- Helping people rebuild and recover after natural catastrophes.