Lambi Fund of Haiti

The Lambi Fund's mission is to assist the popular democratic movement in Haiti. The Lambi Fund provides financial resources, training and technical assistance to peasant-led community organizations that promote the social and economic empowerment of the Haitian people.
Dec 9, 2014

Long Term Building: Long Term Results

Healthy seedlings!
Healthy seedlings!

I walked the streets of Port-Au-Prince and there were many signs indicating a movement towards rebuilding Haiti physically;  especially the additon of 700 kilometers of roads, some paved,  some unpaved, spilling a rising cloud of dust for miles and muds when the rain falls. Unfofrtunately, these new constructions do not bring in local jobs since contractors are coming with their own crews from other countries.  

At the Lambi Fund of Haiti,  it is not business as usual since the earthquake and we continue this year with a portfolio of 24 activities in sustainable agriculture, animal husbandry, community credit for farmers and womens' enterprises, mills and oxplows.  We are looking forward to closing this year, our 20th year from 1994 to 2014, having worked with 250 organizations in rural Haiti.  These were memorable years.  From the local wisdom we learned that shaped our approach and methods, to the increase in food production, animal breeding and the training across communities of women and men, we witnessed rural communities taking charge, making a difference even in the absence of infrastrure planning and support from government.  

While increasing the capacities of organizations with skills training and management training, we are ensuring long term stability in communities with the least resoources to sustain the aftermath of these major crisis.  In this renewal, Lambi Fund is looking towards increasing its own response capacity. In the coming year,the Lambi Fund of Haiti will,  for the first time, establish a permanent space for its offices which will include a site for training and meetings in an effort to reduce costs in the future.  

I hope you will be one of the first to jump onboard to help us create the space.  In the meantime, know that we planted 422,000 new trees, added 1021 goats to the herd and launched the construction of 20 new cisterns in drought ridden Jean Rabel, in the locality of Dityet, Mawotye and Lakoma.  We avail $2,000,000 gourdes in credit for planters and women at 2% interest revenue that goes to their organization to increase their loan fund.  These activities are very active e elements of rebuilding life in the communities affected, increasing food production assuring involvement to support the local market through local enterprises.

All that because you have been there also for the long haul.  I cannot thank you enough and wish you the best for this Holiday Season!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! 

Invisible road...
Invisible road...
Wet journey...
Wet journey...

Links:

Nov 6, 2014

Plowing Forward To Improve Food Security

A freshly plowed field
A freshly plowed field

I still remember looking at the farmers with hoes on their shoulders in the early morning hours, trying to get to their field to till the soil pending the first drop of rain to layer their first seeds.  It is the begining of a new season.  Today, with the help of many of you they are walking the oxen that will do ten times the labor for that day.

This is the rainy season so long awaited by so many.  You see the drought is longer and the rainy season has shortened with the climatic events we are experiencing in Haiti.  So it is even more important that the hoe is slowly being replaced by the oxen-pulled plow.

In advance of this season, we have added 13 plowers and 26 oxen to 4 organizations namely:  

Union of Planters for the Development of Picot (UPLADEP)
Society for development of NIppes (SADN)
Peasant organization of Boula. (OPB)
Group of Women Miracle of faith (GWOFAMIL)

They together serve their membership of 379 (189 men and 148 women) and their communities.  In all they will till 30 acres and offer plowing services to 166 farmers outside of their membership.  SADN had a waiting list from the last season, a line of farmers who will multiply their acreage this year and be able to harvest in time and relatively more produce they would have expected doing all the tilling by hand.

We are adding acre by acre to the production of food in Haiti and meeting the need for local organically grown food in the rural areas and their local markets.

You have helped make it possible and we hope you will be able to continue building this sense of security and productivity with your valuable support!

Preparing them to plow
Preparing them to plow
Working hard
Working hard

Links:

Nov 6, 2014

STRIVING FORWARD IN FEEDING HAITI

An initial infection of Sigatoka
An initial infection of Sigatoka

If I were to note major changes as I walked through Haiti and met with rural farmers, it would have been the number of topping bags of rice in the market place with a foreign language written on them and the local rice of L'estere the heart of the rice production  in Haiti, where the open bins of rice are laid in the sun and the farmers complain of how it is difficult to move their products. Yet, the discussion rages on about the insecurity of the food production. We are doing our utmost in our capacity to keep the local food production going strong.  Sustainable projects like the Center for Plaintain Propagation (CPP) have nearly eliminated Sigatoka, a chronic disease destroying a major staple in the Haitian diet mainly grown in the Artibonite Region.

The Center for Plantain Propagation (CPP) was created by the Lambi Fund of Haiti in 2008 as a direct response to the spread of sigatoka in the Gwomon region of Latibonit Department in northern Haiti. A leaf spot disease of bananas, sigatoka interferes with plant photosynthesis, reducing yields by 50% or more. Because plantains are a staple product for many Haitians, sigatoka represents a very real threat to food security for a population whose median income is less than $2 per day. With the recognition that solutions to the challenges of food security and basic human development must arise from within, and be owned by, local populations, the Lambi Fund of Haiti has always pursued a strategy of local control wherein grassroots organizations approach Lambi with their projects to which the Lambi Fund brings the necessary resources including financing and training. Because the spread of Black Sigatoka represents a threat to food security for all Haitians, the Lambi Fund of Haiti was forced to adopt a very different approach.

. The goals were as follows:

1: Propagate dissemination of sigatoka-resistant plantains throughout the Gwomon region of Haiti by growing and selling FHIA 21 plantain seedlings and through training of area farmers in the plantain decortication process.

At the end of 2013, the Lambi Fund of Haiti hired InfoDev, a well-established evaluation firm located in Port au Prince, to conduct a comprehensive review of the impact of the first five years of the CPP, and to make recommendations regarding its future direction. In the areas directly impacted by the CPP, the study determined that the land under cultivation with FHIA 21, sigatoka resistant strains of plantains, had increased from 200 hectares to more than 900 hectares. Furthermore, whereas only 25% of the plantains grown in the Gwomon region in 2007, when the CPP was first being considered, were sigatoka-resistant, by 2013, the percentage of FHIA-21 variety plantains had grown to more than 60%.

In addition to the conferred advantage of being sigatoka resistant, the FHIA-21 variety of plantain typically produces up to two additional clusters per plant, significantly increasing the productivity of the average plantain “tree.” A side benefit, then, of the introduce of the FHIA-21 variety of plantain has been to increase overall plantain production and profits to area farmers, while creating new commercial opportunities for area farmers.

With training and technical assistance from the CPP, area farmers have established a facility to produce plantain chips for sale to area orphanages and schools. This has not only provided additional revenue to area farmers, but has improved the diet of area school children who had, heretofore, relied on simple, sugar-based snacks/candies to sustain them during the long school day.

2: Provide training to area farmers on the use of natural, organic pesticides to control pests and plant disease.

While sigatoka represents a more prominent threat to the food security of Haitians, ordinary pests can significantly reduce yields of not only plantains but other crops as well. The CPP has trained area farmers in the use of local products, including hot peppers and sour orange, as well as other local products that may serve as natural pesticides and to help to eliminate other vermin. In 2013, the CPP provided six different types of trainings to some 543 individuals on both decortication as well as organic pesticide treatment. They were also taught how to reduce transmission of plant diseases and pests by, for example, cleaning shoes before entering into their fields. Trainings were also offered in the areas of forestry, nursery prep and management, and the preparation and formation of cooperatives for development. 

The following organizations and their membership received training in 2013.

Organization                                                                                 Membership           Women            Men           

AGPGM: Asosyasyon Gwoupman Plantè Gwomon                                 200                        60                 140

APS: Asosyasyon Peyizan Sel                                                             180                         69                111    

APMA: Asosyasyon Plantè Mannyok Akil                                              163                         77                 56     

Total                                                                                                   543                        217               296

 CPP undergirds local food production and continues to support the food production making available 6000 new plantain trees thus far in 2014, with a potential of doubling this production by end of December. 

Our donors have together supported this effort and we are forever grateful!

Developing healthy resistant strain plantain trees
Developing healthy resistant strain plantain trees
Healthy and robust plantains
Healthy and robust plantains
Transferring the new shoots to grow in the field
Transferring the new shoots to grow in the field

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