Hi GlobalGiving Supporters!
Trees for the Future (TREES) continues to make significant progress in combating poverty, food insecurity, and land degradation in the village of Bethel, Haiti. Working with the farmer group leader, TREES has extended integrated land management strategies promoting tree planting with 10 households primed to plant over 12,000 trees this year. For each farmer a variety of trees are being incorporated onto a single piece of land based upon diversifying agricultural production, plant interactions, and spatial and temporal spacing. The new initiative is called the Forest Garden, and as an integrated system, it has more potential than any individual component.
These tree varieties have been selected for their ability to produce a variety of forest products including fruit, timber, and fuelwood. By encouraging farmers to diversify the trees and crops on their plot of land, they not only increase their own food security, but they can mitigate risks associated with fluctuating agricultural markets and pest attacks. Soil-enriching nitrogen-fixing trees also help to build the soil and contribute to general soil fertility. The system improves farmer livelihoods and the environment at the same time, and it has taken off in Bethel with 21 participating farmers this year. The first rainy season’s planting (April-June) was successful and the second (August-October) is poised to be even better.
To find the project enter in the following GPS points into Google Maps: 18 45.665, -72 23.179
The first quarter of 2014 has been the dry season in Haiti and the main activities in our Bethel project have been: nursery maintenance, supplying agricultural tools and equipment to farmers and training farmers in forest garden design and establishment. Additional activities included on-site technical assistance to farmers, specifically helping farmer’s plan tree planting tree sites for the upcoming rainy season. In 2013, Trees for the Future planted 11, 000 trees in Bethel and currently there are 9,948 seedlings in the nursery ready to plant once the rains arrive this April.
Figure 1 below shows a Trees for the Future site in Bethel that contains Cassia siamea trees planted last year. This farm will transition over to a forest garden and will soon be planted with a diversity of other plant species that will provide variety of benefits including food, fuel wood, timber, food security, and other marketable income generating products. Nurseries that have been maintained for planting next month contain coffee, Quercus sp. Prunus sp., Psidium guajava and Cassia siamea.
Twenty five farmers in Bethel have received Trees for the Future support this quarter through tree planting assistance, agriculture and agroforestry technologies.
The plans for next quarter in Bethel include:
1. Continued nursery maintenance
2. Training and workshops on forest garden design, maintenance and tree planting
3. Planting of bean and melon seeds in the forest gardens
4. Out-planting of nursery seedlings into forest gardens
Trees for the future monthly report
Bethel (Cabaret) /Haiti
The main activities during this past reporting period are:
Nursery maintenance: The rehabilitation works at the nursery of bethel summarizes watering seedlings, preparing the substrate for filling polyethylene bags, sowing of certain species particularly oak, coffee, Prunus sp, Psidium guajava.
Agricultural service in Bethel: A meeting was conducted with the farmers in the area to explore the possibilities of distribution of bean seeds (red variety) during periods of the fourth quarter of the year. Farmers are expecting TREES support on that matter.
Monitoring visits planting: visits have been conducted regularly to ensure that seedlings planted manage and to motivate the beneficiaries to take care of
Meeting with the Woman’s group: We worked with the womens association that is involved and highly motivated in development activities in the area. This basic organization is called (GFVB = groupman Fanm Vanyan Bethel). The next year the members of the women associations will be trained on alternative income generating activities such as farming, processing and preservation of fruits, vegetable crops, etc. These activities will increase their income and even without improving the nutrition of different members of their families.
Tree Plantation vs animal husbandry: Free grazing animals is one of the major constraints to the success of reforestation projects in Haiti because that allows animals to eat the trees. This challenge has encouraged some goat farmers of the area create parks for animals to better manage against some predators and reduce the risk of destruction of our tree planting.