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Help Families Grow their Own Food in Rural Haiti

by Lambi Fund of Haiti
Help Families Grow their Own Food in Rural Haiti
Help Families Grow their Own Food in Rural Haiti
Help Families Grow their Own Food in Rural Haiti
Help Families Grow their Own Food in Rural Haiti
Help Families Grow their Own Food in Rural Haiti
Help Families Grow their Own Food in Rural Haiti
Help Families Grow their Own Food in Rural Haiti
Help Families Grow their Own Food in Rural Haiti

COVID-19 really threw us for a loop and slowed things down tremendously. While the world was able to pause and quarantine, our partners in rural Haiti had no choice but to push through it all and continue working. 

We were able to provide over 2,500 face masks to organization members along with the basic understanding of how the disease is spread and what to do to help prevent it.  This provided a level of peace that made the worry easier to deal with. 

Food insecurity continues to be a growing problem in Haiti. Many of our partners are still recovering from the destruction caused by hurricane Matthew a couple of years ago. Recently, 10 of our partner organizations in Kavayon successfully rebuilt their gardens that were wiped out by the hurricane. The members were also able to replace the goat(s) that they had lost, reignite their merchant activities, process grains for storage and plant more than 200,000 trees that are actually growing in the area. 

Although they've been doing well, there is still a lot of assistance that is needed. In each of these projects, Lambi has a set a goal to boost Agricultural Credit, Grain Storage and Grain Transformation so that together we can continue to help curve the impending hunger. 

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Although Lambi Fund is continuing all our work on sustainable agriculture projects because it is vital to the survival of many Haitians, it is imperative that we address the impact of COVID-19 in rural Haiti.

We have a four-phased approach and will be talking about each phase in the upcoming reports:

1) Health Awareness and prevention training

a) Awareness - Radio spots, texts, trucks with bullhorn announcements

b) Small group trainings on methods to prevent the spread of COVID-19

2) Distribution of sanitary materials

3) Funding for food purchases during health crisis

4) Financial support for sustainable agriculture  and continued support of families growing their own food after the third phase of the COVID-19 plan.

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We are working with a group that is growing coffee and other vegetables. Here is some background about that group. More details to come as they progress on the work.

OFAP (Women's Organization for Action), which was born on March 12, 2000  in the community of Pliche. Today it has 108 Women members.

The organization sets itself the following objectives:

. Work collaboratively to improve the economic conditions of the members;

. Helping Women Know the Rights and Duties of Society;

. Combat all forms of violence against women in society.

Organization Framework and Functioning: OFAP has a simple framework: a 9-member Steering Committee (Chairman, Vice President, Secretary, Vice Secretary, Treasurer, 2 Delegates, 2 Advisors) and 6 Commission 3 members listed at each of these locations. The organization has its members in: Piwon, Kenyan, Pliche, Are, Agan, Manso.

In the running of the Organization, members have to contribute 20.00 gds per month. Currently, the Organization has 100,000 gds in the treasury.

The Steering Committee meets monthly. The Organization's meetings, which gather the majority of members, are held every 3rd Thursday of the month. Lastly, a General Assembly is held annually to evaluate the work done in the year and plan for the coming year. Recently the Organization held elections to renew the membership of the Steering Committee. The new committee has a term of 5 years.

Members of the Organization usually carry out the following activities: Vegetable Garden - Coffee nursery and grain storage. The organization uses the money in the treasury to carry out activities that have good benefits.

OFAP works jointly with several other organizations in the area such as: ODEP (Organizational Development Agency) - OPDTM (Peasant Development Organization Three Mangoes)-

Pliche is a locality located in the South Department especially in the 4th Section of Marc Henry, Commune of the Cavalry. There are approximately 10,000 people living in the section. The distance to Pliche and Cavallon is 18 miles. In Pliche there are 5 Elementary Schools that can educate 1500 Children from different farms in the area. Children walk 50 m, 300 m, 1 km, 2 km to reach the schools. No High School is in Pliche.

The Pliche population receives health care at the Boundary, Cavalry, Lazil, Okay, Fondant, Aken, Matino, Sizean and Pleasure Hospitals. In general people walk from 30-45mn to these health centers because public transport is not always available in the area.

In the Pliche area there are 5 streams that allow the population to get water to use. These sources are called Tisous, Agan, In Mapuche, Behind the Basin, In Belize.

The economics of Pliche people are based on Breeding, Trade and Agriculture. Agriculture is the largest source of income for people living in Pliche. In this sense, the Peasants produce Beans, Corn, Coffee, Cocoa, Yams, Bananas, Fu Fu and Forest.

Pliche Area Agricultural Calendar

Crop Date Plantation Date Crop

Corn Feb-March

July-August May-June

Oct-Nov

Sweet potatoes July-August

Nov. Nov.

Feb

Millet Feb.-March

July-August profiles. Jan

Yam Feb-March

August- Sept. March- June

Dec

Manioc Fev.-March

July-August Fev- March

July-August

Coffee March, August, Oct., Nov. August, Sept, Dec, Jan

Cocoa March, August, October, Nov.

Bananas August-Feb.

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Two of the priority projects that result in more food for Haitians are the Ox Plow projects that increase the amount of land tilled for planting and the Micro-Credit Funds for farmers that accompany the Ox Plow projects. The funds, at an interest rate of 2%, help farmers to pay for the service of plowing at the initial stages. This is a much better interest rate than predatory lenders who charge as much as 25 or 30%. All revenues from the Ox Plowing service increase the capacity of the organization to care for the community.  

With longer droughts and shorter rainy seasons, it is critical that plowing the land for planting is done in a timely manner. Farmers can plow the land sooner when they don’t have to worry about repayments with huge interest rates. In addition, Ox plowing is much quicker than hand tilling. Thanks to your support, Lambi Fund is starting projects with several new organizations in the South and will be reporting more on them in the upcoming months.

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General Organization expenses are to pay for Plow Operators, to buy oxen, to repair Plows, to pay for veterinary care and to buy pastures.

A contingency fund will resolve problems that may arise in the operation of plows such as replacing oxen and Veterinary Care for sick animals.

RESULTS OF Ox Plowing Project

• Lambi provides a total of 6 full-service plows to serve organizations in the southern department. They rotate usage of the plows.

• Plowing services still exist in the Organization, even if it is doing poorly.

• 135 members of the Organization received the plowing service.

• 68 planters in the community received plowing services.

• Organizations have around 49,986 goudes in their treasury.

• There are 18 members of 4 Organizations who get to earn some money plowing.  

IMPACT OF THE PROJECT ON THE MEMBERSHIP OF THE ORGANIZATION AND THE POPULATION.

- More land to work in communities where there are plows

- More people are interested in investing in agricultural activities

- The plows allow those who benefit from the service to respect the planting period

- Plowing service allows agricultural yields in irrigated areas

- Growers cultivate their soil faster and easier when pasture

- Some farmers in the community who benefit from plowing services want to become members of the Organization

- Organizations are becoming stronger due to the many activities planned for their projects, many meetings are also held

Project Activity Monitoring: The Lambi staff completed 2 follow-up visits to each of the  organizations during the first year of the project to track the progress of project activities. The Southern Department's Monitor makes 2 monthly follow-up visits to the project. These visits allow the staff to discuss with the Organization the activities that have taken place - what is needed - the planning of future activities. These visits also allow Lambi, through its Staff and Southern Regional Monitors, to look at the issues they are facing, think about the issues and help the Organization find solutions to them. In addition, the Port au Prince staff meets monthly with the Regional Monitor at the office to discuss further project progress and make suggestions and recommendations as needed.

DIFFICULTIES

• Plows are out of work due to the very short rainy season this year

• In irrigated areas, planters lose fields due to drought in several areas

• Organizations are struggling to feed oxen properly

• Organizations lack pasture to feed the oxen

• A little difficulty in providing care to the oxen especially when they are sick

• Much of the money that goes into plowing project goes to buying pastures

CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Although the country has a lot of problems in agriculture, organizations are trying to provide services at all times. This is why most members of the Organization believe that their presence in the Organization is a great thing for them. They also think that if the rain were to fall properly, they would have the capacity to plow a lot of ground. 

While it was difficult, the recipient organizations recognized the importance of such an activity within a community. The plow project allowed life to return to the associations, with many returning to work after the calamity of Hurricane Matthew. Lambi is asking members to make more contributions to the Organization so that they can have multiple pieces of land for setting up pastures to better feed the oxen and to prevent animals from getting sick.  

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Organization Information

Lambi Fund of Haiti

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @LambiFund
Project Leader:
Josette Perard
Washington, DC United States
$31,900 raised of $99,000 goal
 
327 donations
$67,100 to go
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