YOUR DONATION HELPS PROVIDE EMERGENCY FOOD, REPAIRS AND AGRICULTURAL SUPPORT FOR FARM FAMILIES IN 15 COMMUNITIES AFFECTED BY HURRICANE MATTHEW IN HAITI
HAITI SMALLHOLDER RECOVERY OPERATION
The Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA) and its international affiliate, Impact Farming, are providing targeted support to farm families in up to 15 rural communities in Haiti, starting with emergency food and repairs and soon to be followed with help to get seeds in the ground in time for the upcoming planting season. And using the SFA model, each community will also establish and manage a small nursery to grow trees.
Farmers throughout the country were affected by Hurricane Matthew. Those in its direct path were devastated, while many more in its broad outer band were hit with the full force of a severe tropical storm. Crops and livestock were lost, access roads flooded, homes and farm buildings damaged, and irrigation systems destroyed — all made worse because of the country’s lack of trees to lessen the impact of torrential rain and flood waters.
Haiti is an agrarian nation whose short and long-term recovery is irrevocably linked to the fate of its one million smallholder farm families, each with land holdings of less than 2 hectares (5 acres).
It is hard to know where to start in responding to a crisis on the scale left behind by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti, but our approach is to take on providing support for approximately 1,400 farm families spread throughout 15 small rural communities that are not being served by other emergency teams. This includes a cluster of 7 farm communities in the northwest and 8 in the southwest.
The group of 7 communities in the northwest includes Terre des Negres, where the SFA has been working for several years.
There is a food crisis emerging in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. Farmers are not able to get their produce to market and price gouging is widespread. With their incomes disrupted, it is difficult for farm families to afford what food items they don’t grow themselves. And an entire crop that was soon to be harvested has been lost or partly destroyed, which will further add to the crisis in coming months.
The SFA is responding to this situation by providing ‘family ration’ kits that include rice, beans, flour, pasta, cooking oil and water purification tablets.
This first wave emergency assistance to farmers also includes repairing a number of damaged homes as well as rebuilding a community center in Terre des Negres in a joint effort with the Lidè Foundation that shares use of that facility with the SFA. Lidè’s work focuses on strengthening resiliency and providing education through the arts for adolescent girls in several of the same communities as the SFA, including Terre des Negres.
The SFA is budgeting up to $1,000 to apply in meeting the most pressing problems that are identified by each community through consultations that reflect local consensus.
NOTE: Food items are being purchased at near to wholesale prices in Haiti. It is a very chaotic situation at the moment and trying to access donated food is challenging. In the event that we are able to get donated food, the savings will go towards other parts of the Smallholder Recovery Operation.
It is essential that farmers who suffered crop losses due to Hurricane Matthew are given support in order to be ready for the next planting season that begins towards the end of the year and into January. Our goal is to help farmers in the 15 targeted communities to be ready by providing them with seeds, tools and agricultural supplies.
The current crop losses, focused particularly in the southwest breadbasket region of the country, means less produce in markets throughout the entire country. That translates to higher prices at a time when farmers are already suffering income loss. The combined impact has left many worried about a return of the food crisis in 2008 when rising food prices led to widespread riots. Getting farmers back into a production cycle is one way to help avert this outcome.
Each of the 15 targeted communities will be given support and training in order to set up and operate a small tree nursery with the goal of planting a minimum of 5,000 trees over the course of 2017 for a cumulative total of 75,000 trees. In the case of Terre des Negres, the support will be to replace the nursery that was destroyed by Hurricane Matthew.
A tree is just a matchstick in the eye of a hurricane, but a tree in a hurricane’s outer band is a farmer’s best natural defense against flooding, soil erosion and landslides.
Since being established in 2010, the farmer members of the SFA have planted close to 5.7 million trees and in the process earned the seeds, tools and training to raise their crop yields by an average of 40% and household incomes by an average of 50%. Through this agroforestry approach, trees are becoming a new form of bio-currency in Haiti. The full impact of this new model, which emerged from a five-year partnership between Timberland and the SFA, is captured in a powerful documentary film titled, "KOMBIT: The Cooperative," which continues to tour throughout the U.S.
The only road access to Terre des Negres and several other farming communities in the north of Haiti was severely damaged by Hurricane Matthew. Residents there have been completely cut off from reaching health services and markets for both selling crops and purchasing food and supplies. Local farmers and their families have decided to fix the road themselves, but they have asked for two forms of assistance. They need to buy the necessary hand tools and equipment to undertake the repairs, and they have also asked for rice and cooking oil to use as payment for those doing the work in place of cash. The image below shows flood damage to the access road to Terre des Negres.
CUSTOMIZE YOUR DONATION
With our new donation system, we are breaking new ground by allowing you to personalize your contribution by choosing from a registry that ranges from emergency food items to crop seeds to tree nurseries. You also have the option to make a donation without this selection process by clicking on either of the two logo icons that appear at the top of the donate list.
Please note that all items on the donate list include the overhead costs necessary to deliver and/or manage each item. Individual prices will vary depending on timing and availability. We reserve the right to make substitutions for selected items as circumstances on the ground warrant.
With the exception of donations made by clicking the Impact Farming icon (which results in a general donation to Impact Farming), all other donations will be earmarked for the Haiti Smallholder Recovery Operation.
All donations made from this site are made to the Impact Farming Foundation Inc., which is approved by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. All donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowable under the law. Federal Identification Number (EIN) for the Impact Farming Foundation, Inc. is 47-1858572. Mailing address: 1872 Pleasantville Road, Suite 182, Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510, USA. Email: info@ImpactFarming.org