Celebration of Trees in Haiti

Trees are part of seasonal holiday celebrations in many parts of the world, but in Haiti they are also being used by farmers to earn their way out of poverty.

The country’s current political turmoil may be in the limelight, but there is another story from Haiti worthy of headlines: thousands of small-scale farmers are using a new business model to help feed and reforest the nation.

Elie Luc, shown above, farms two hectares (roughly 5 acres) near the rural community of St. Michel de l’Attalaye. As he took me on a tour last week, Elie explained that he harvests 40 to 50 papayas a year from each of 350 trees like the one he is standing next to. That comes to around 15,000 papayas a year on top of the beans, pigeon peas, cassava and bananas that make up his overall agroforestry operation.
Elie is one of 3,200 members of the Smallholder Farmers Alliance in Haiti who have made a successful business by combining improved organic agriculture with planting over a million trees a year.
Thanks to Timberland for being our partner from the outset, to the Clinton Foundation for their ongoing support, and to the Firmenich Foundation for our newest collaboration. We are also grateful for the support of Fondation Seguin, Heifer International, IDB, Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church and the Trees that Feed Foundation.
Best wishes for the holidays,
Hugh Locke
President, Smallholder Farmers Alliance

Author: `