Although 75% of the world’s hungry live in areas where they could grow enough for a healthy diet and have income to cover basic needs. In Haiti, 30% of the population is considered food insecure (World Food Programme 2015). CEI works with smallholder Haitian farmers to bring food security, economic viability, and restore depleted land. Current Programs include Goat, Agriculture, Water Initiative, and Women’s Business.
In Haiti, goats are not only an important source of protein. They are a family’s savings account. When someone needs to go to the hospital, or when there is another large expense, they can sell a goat to cover costs.
First: Goat expert Franck Toussaint trains locally chosen leaders as veterinary technicians and provides all essential basic medicines and supplies. Next he equips 20 women and men farmers per month with knowledge and skills of goat care. Upon successful completion, each participant receives two, top-quality Haitian does that have been impregnated by top-quality an imported breed buck.
Next: A goat park is built, with separate holding areas for quarantining sick animals, breeding, and holding females until pregnancy is confirmed. Franck provides additional training to the local veterinary technicians, to whom farmers pay a small fee for services, and, each month adds 20 more farmers to the program.
And the Best Part: All beneficiary farmers give back their first-born goat kids, to be distributed in ongoing program expansion, where each man and woman is both recipient and contributor. Training is expanded to include social business and cooperative farming, helping to establish a viable agricultural value chain.How it works: First, goat expert Franck Toussaint begins formation for locally chosen leaders from each zone as veterinary technicians and provides all essential basic medicines and supplies. Next he trains twenty women and men farmers per month in goat care, recognizing and treating illness, breeding, etc. Upon successful completion, each participant receives 2 top-quality pregnant female goats. Meanwhile, a goat park is built, with separate holding areas for quarantining sick animals, boars, and holding females until pregnancy is confirmed. Each month an additional 20 farmers are brought into the program. Beneficiaries give the first two kids back to the program, to be distributed to other farmers entering the distribution chain. Throughout the program, Franck continues oversight and training of local veterinary technicians. For the first three years, CEI subsidizes cost of technicians at a gradually declining level, as the local goat population grows and farmers pay increasing percentages of associated costs. The goal is for the program to be thriving and completely independent within 3-5 years.
Smallholder farmers in Haiti often grow the same few crops in depleted soil, resulting in lack of nutritious food varieties and low yields. Good quality and variety of seed stock are often unavailable or unaffordable. CEI Agronomist Arol Ilerand addresses each of these issues in his overall strategy to improve livelihoods, food security, and soil condition.
First: Farmers in each zone select two leaders, one man and one woman and Agronomist Arol begins their formation. Each zone selects 20 farmers for first distribution, or a total of 120. After their training, each smallholder farmer receives seed, compost, etc.
Next: Local Agriculture Technician, Serge, provides ongoing training and assistance to first-phase beneficiaries, while Agronomist Arol begins training for the next group of participants. This pattern is repeated for a full cycle of three planting seasons during the first year. Meanwhile, a nursery is established to start saplings to replace food trees lost in the hurricane and as a test plot for seeds that will be newly introduced.
And the Best Part: Every beneficiary is also a contributor. At harvest, all farmers in the program give back a portion of their yield to start a local seed bank, and to bring additional people into the program. Training is expanded to include social business and cooperative farming, helping to establish a viable agricultural value chain.
Women entrepreneurs in Haiti face a host of problems: lack of adequate financing, resources, financial & business education, and access to broader markets. CEI’s women’s initiative is working to change this.
First: CEI partners with local Women’s Leadership Committee, who assess needs, envision the future they want for themselves and their children, begin to create goals, strategy, and action plans.
Next: Training continues with exploration of joint impact and opportunities of a social business model. Participants define their individual goals and roles and receive first allotment of resources, such as initial funding for social entrepreneurs, micro-loans, and start-up grants with a give-back component.
Then: Ongoing training and support is provided as pilots are analyzed, evaluated, and tweaked. Value chain planning is added to training and, if the Women’s Group requests, CEI provides assistance in implementation.