Poor rural families and farmers risk serious threat to their food and nutrition security that could escalate into famine in the aftermath of COVID-19. Undernourishment and a significant drop in agricultural production rates will result if an aggressive recovery plan is not implemented to avoid sending struggling farmers even deeper into poverty traps and malnutrition. The Seed Bank uses an inter-generational approach to strengthen community and serve as a model for social and behavioral changes.
Food production is insufficient to feed the growing population. Heavy reliance is placed on imports to fill the gap from local production. Confinement as a tool to fight COVID-19 has curtailed economic activities in the U.S. and Dominican Republic, two of the largest suppliers to Haiti. Sonje-Ayiti and its partners intend to set up an agricultural seed bank focused on making nutritious seeds available to families and farmers to cultivate more than 1500 hectares of land.
Creation of an Emergency Agricultural Seed Bank to increase the availability of important crops; beans, forage, vegetables, corn, and sorghum to help poor rural families and farmers better cope with the anticipated dramatic food shortage. In collaboration with local and national partners, Sonje-Ayiti will promote a seed system to help provide a fast but adapted recovery response for the farmers. Funds will purchase 20 metric tons of Heirloom seeds during the three-month project duration.
Sonje-Ayiti is working with more than 10 organizations in the North and North-East to place special emphasis on 2300 rural families with small parcels of cultivated land around their houses. The project will be implemented with partners and other stakeholders in a collaborative participatory approach. Proposed interventions include a "seed payback system" and shared platforms to ensure interest and engagement to facilitate the program's extension in a responsible and sustainable manner.
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