Help Reforest the Barren Lands of Haiti!

Jul 7, 2014

Bethel Report (April-June)

A child joins in the tree planting
A child joins in the tree planting

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


Mar 31, 2014

Trees for the Future Bethel Report March 2014

A proposed site for a forest garden.
A proposed site for a forest garden.

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

Community members sow seeds in their nursery.
Community members sow seeds in their nursery.
Dec 26, 2013

Improvement/Alternative Income via Tree Planting

Trees for the future monthly report

Bethel (Cabaret) /Haiti

December 2013

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.

Sep 23, 2013

Tree Planting in Action

The main activities at the community of Bethel for the third quarter of 2013 consists of:

  • Rehabilitation of the nursery: After the first transplantation period from June to August, over 80 percent of seedlings at the nursery completely transplanted. Currently, we are about to replant seeds in the nursery to have enough seedlings for the second planting season. 
  • Maintenance of the nursery: Maintenance work at the nursery is performed to manage the remaining seedlings. After meetings with the community, it has been observed that there is excessive demands for fruit seedlings especially breadfruit (somnifero)
  • Transplantation: With the strong participation of the community of Bethel, we got to transplant more than 7,000 seedlings during the period from July to August . The main transplanted seedlings are: Cacia , Citrus , and Cedrela odorata,
  •  Training on management of agricultural and animal waste: With the high cost of chemical fertilizers on the Haitian market , to prevent cases of nutrient deficiencies at the nursery , TREES trained technicians on composting techniques using plant and animal waste.
  • Creation of mini-forest: With strong participation of women's organizations in the particular area ( Fanm vanyan Bethel ). We created a mini drill consisting essentially of Cacia , species that can adapt in extreme weather conditions. This association is very active in the area  and willing to mobilize a lot more of women. 

Plans for the Fourth Quarter consists of:

  1. Trainings and workshops for the community 
  2. Nursery replantings  
  3. Preparing sites for tree planting 
  4. Hosting community meetings to solve common issues linking to free grazing in the area 
  5. Tree planting 
  6. Agricultural infield technical assistance 
Jun 24, 2013

Bethel Project Progress Despite the Drought

Bethel Bareroot Nursery
Bethel Bareroot Nursery

Trees for the Future's biggest challenge during this reporting period is the lack of rainfall to sustain the trees after outplanting. Therefore, we are still waiting for the appropiate level of rainfall that can reach a level of sustainability for the plants to survive being outplanted on each individual farmer's properties. Despite the ongoing drought, Trees for the Future has been able to continue teaching the various agroforestry techniques such as: 

1) Intercropping

2) Assisted natural regeneration

3) Composting

4) Erosion control

5) Bareroot nursery establishment and maintence

More over the species that Trees for the Future has supplied to the community groups are: 

1) Morenga olefeira

2) Cassia senna

3) Swietenya macrophylla and mahogaony

4) Cedrela odorata

5) Catalpa longitissima

Despite the challenges with the drought, the recipients have a better understanding of the importance of community participation in the success of objectives. The farmers are showing more enthusiasm to plant trees especially fast-growing and multipurpose species. The community leaders have an increase in capacity to mobilize all members of the community for the project activities. The beneficiaries have a better understanding of the importance of trees for the natural environment, water conservation, and soil fertility. 

The activities planned for the next reporting period are based on the availability of sustainable rainfall. If there is enough rain, the group members will transfer the trees and plant on thier land. The farmers will also learn to prepare thier land and the nurseries to minimize the damages from the upcoming hurricane season. Furthermore, the activities will also include; 

1) Rehabilitation of the nurseries

2) Training/workshop for communities

3) Follow up in the previous tree plantations

4) Nursery maintenance

5) Agriculture service (in field technical support to farmers)

6) Community meetings to discuss about problems and ways to tackle them

7) Planning of the second tree planting of the year (meeting people and visiting possible sites of transplantation, preparation of sites)

8) Tree planting campaign +follow up on the tree plantations (replacing those trees lost during the first season planting) 

Despite the drought, Trees for the Future is continuing to empower the community groups to increase thier capacity to improve thier enviornment while increasing thier crop yields. The ultimate goal is to train the community members to a level in which they can go from subsistence agriculture to producing cash crops for markets. Thank you for your time, Im looking forward to any opportunity to further discuss this project.

Bethel nursery maintenance by community members
Bethel nursery maintenance by community members
Rural women
Rural women's group reforesting their land
Women's group planting trees

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Trees for the Future

Silver Spring, Maryland, United States

Project Leader

Erica Sieg

Development Associate
Silver Spring, Maryland United States

Where is this project located?