Vegetable Gardens for Improved Nutrition in Haiti

 
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Greetings!

First, we want to sincerely thank you for your continued support for this garden project in Haiti! Thanks to your contributions, we’ve continued to educate families on the nutritional content of foods, the positive impacts that a nutrient-rich diet has on health, and ways to increase access to healthy foods. 

In the past few months, we have focused on promoting sustainability and small agribusiness development.  The project has developed a micro-loan system to help farmers create independently-run small agribusinesses. Our goal is to increase the number of loans and families involved with this program. With increased investment, we can empower more families to define for themselves what success looks like and equip them to uncover correlations between good agricultural practices, increased production, and the impact of value-added activities on monthly incomes. This should not only improve families' access to nutritional foods but also increase their potential for a more economically sustainable livelihood. 

On this Thanksgiving, we are thankful for you and all of our dedicated donors!

Over the past few months, funds from our generous Global Giving donors have been combined with other resources to create small loans called “Tokèt Pam.” As we have mentioned in the past, micro-loans have helped women in Lory achieve a variety of successes, including producing more vegetables and growing their small businesses. These accomplishments have contributed to the economic development of the community as a whole. With her loan, this Lory woman was able to establish her own restaurant “Resto Kay Cilotte.” She was able to use her cooking skills to increase her income and her customers can now enjoy some delicious Haitian cuisine!

Future donations will allow us to expand our efforts in Lory and reach even more people. Thank you for your continued support of the Lory project!

Haitian woman
Haitian woman

Over the past months, Makouti Agro Enterprise in collaboration with the Farmer to Farmer Program has contributed to business development in Lory through an improved loan system. Donations from GlobalGiving were combined with other funds to help 10 women establish 10 businesses in the town of Lory. These efforts were intentionally conducted during two months of school vacation to help women better prepare for upcoming school fees in September.

The assistance took the form of a “Tokèt Pam,” which is a combination loan and grant. Each woman received 5,000 gourdes (just over $100 USD). After one month, the women begin repaying 500 gourdes monthly. Those who successfully make their payments for 6 months do not have to pay the 4 remaining monthly payments. Thus the system is comprised of a 60 percent loan and of a 40 percent grant. This system offers a good alternative to other lending organizations, whose stringent repayment and interest policies have caused families to go into debt. 

We thank you for your generous support of the Lory project!

Biochar briquettes
Biochar briquettes

Thanks to our generous donors for your support of the Vegetable Gardens for Improved Nutrition project. Your latest gifts have been combined with some additional funding to be able to give loans out to women in the Lory community. Makouti Agro Enterprise has been overseeing the loan system and they have had a lot of success with these types of loans previously. 

Some of the loans are going towards helping women in Lory to produce more vegetables. Some loans are being used to help women buy and resell vegetables as a small business or transport their own vegetables to market. One women is using the loan to expand her business producing and selling all-natural briquettes made from Biochar, which can replace charcoal in cooking and can also be used as fertilizer to provide soil nutrients. 

As we see some of the results of these micro-loans, we will post additional photos and information. But thank you again for your support!

Vegetable gardens
Vegetable gardens

Partners would first like to thank all our generous donors who have made this project possible! Your donations have provided supplies and trainings to families in Lory and we hope to keep bringing you good project updates that show the impact of your assistance.

Through collaboration with the Farmer to Farmer program, a team of organic agriculture specialists from Vermont recently traveled to provide training in integrated, sustainable farming. In Lory, they looked at improving practices in vegetable seedling production and transplanting, compost, and other areas.

An excerpt from their trip report is below: 

"The Lory community members that we worked with ... were very enthusiastic and had prepared raised beds with compost before we came. They were constrained by land availability, sun exposure, seed availability, and heavy soils with poor drainage. They valued the use of bagasse [the fibrous matter that remains after sugarcane or sorghum stalks are crushed to extract their juice] based compost that Makouti has been producing and were extremely supportive of each other and eager to exchange ideas with us. Saintano [the village field technician] had good technical knowledge and seemed to gain confidence and comfort working with us over the course of the week." 

Based on their work and the trainings provided, some recommendations to further improve the gardens in Lory are:

  • Clay soils with limited drainage are a problem so raised beds and as much compost as possible will help improve soil tilth and drainage. 
  • Row cover should be used to cover beds until seedlings are able to withstand chicken damage.
  • Continue compost workshops and additional pest management training is needed.
  • Acquiring access to more and better land for the women’s group to work collectively as skill sets develop in vegetable production.

Training on these and other topics will help strenghten the impact of our work in Lory. Thank you again for your collaboration!

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Organization

Project Leader

Peggy Carlson

Director, Farmer to Farmer Program
Washington, DC United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Vegetable Gardens for Improved Nutrition in Haiti