Planting Trees and Growing Communities in Haiti

They say money doesn’t grow on trees, but did you know a whole community can? Haiti is in the midst of an unprecedented political, economic and social crisis, but there are around one million smallholder farmers throughout the country (with husbands and wives farming together on approximately a half million farms) ready to be part of the solution. What’s missing? Trees.
The Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA) has pioneered a new social business model that turns trees into a form of currency that is used to finance the upgrading of small-scale family farms and the transformation of rural communities. Farmers plant and look after trees to earn credits they exchange for a range of agricultural and community services. Everything from crop seeds, hand tools and agricultural training to micro-credit loans, adult literacy classes and reviving the kombit tradition of neighbors forming volunteer work parties to help in the fields and take on community projects. The following 3-minute video tells the story.
As you can see from the video, the SFA receives support from Timberland to plant trees. We also receive support from the Raising Haiti Foundation and a number of other groups and individuals.

With the help of these generous donors, our 6,000 farmer members have planted more than 7.5 million trees. Trees that have earned them the inputs they need to grow more food and earn more income for their families. And by implementing much of agricultural and community services themselves, with the SFA’s supervision, participating farmers eventually become independent and operate the programs themselves.
We invite you to consider making a donation on Giving Tuesday in order to help us involve more farmers in planting more trees and growing more food in Haiti.
Hugh Locke

Author: `