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Tuesday
Sep292015

Haitian Smallholder Farmers Rise to the Challenge

Chelsea Clinton, Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation (center) with Matthew Brown, CEO of Fonkoze (left),
Hugh Locke, President and Co-founder of the Smallholder Farmers Alliance and Margaret Morey-Reuner,
Director of Strategic Partnerships & Business Development, Timberland.

Three programs involving the work of the Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA) in Haiti were highlighted by Chelsea Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) taking place in New York this week.

These programs covered a wide range from tree planting to adult literacy training to the new moringa superfood, with the connecting thread being the smallholder farmers of Haiti. 

TREE PLANTING: Timberland was acknowledged for fulfilling a commitment made at the 2010 CGI to plant 5 million trees in Haiti in 5 years through a unique partnership with SFA. That ambitious goal has been met, but equally important is the innovative agro-business model that emerged out of this initiative that is now sparking economic and community development, improving agricultural practices while simultaneously contributing to the reforestation of Haiti.

LITERACY TRAINING: A new program from Fonkoze, Haiti’s largest microfinance institution, was announced offering adult literacy along with basic numeracy and business training to farmers, micro-entrepreneurs and at-risk young women. The Smallholder Farmers Alliance is one of three implementing partners with Fonkoze, with SFA providing this training to several hundred of its smallholder farmer members, the majority of whom will be women.

NEW MARKETS: Moringa leaf grown by smallholder farmers in Haiti will soon be on the shelves at Whole Foods nationwide in the United States. With support from the Clinton Foundation and Timberland, the Smallholder Farmers Alliance has launched a new moringa value chain with an aim to secure a portion of the rapidly growing international market for moringa leaf powder for Haitian farmers. Kuli Kuli, a U.S.-based moringa foods company, has created a new Moringa Green Energy shot (shown below) made with Haitian moringa that will go on sale at 420 Whole Foods Market stores in January 2016. A new business model fully integrating smallholder farmers from ‘field to shelf’ as growers, processors and shareholders in a new commercial export company also features moringa processing small business operations run entirely by women farmers.

Parallel to the announcement at CGI, a new “crowdfunding” campaign launched on Indiegogo will help raise the financing needed to meet the Whole Foods deadline. Learn more at: 

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-moringa-green-energy-shot-to-revitalize-haiti/x/8583747#/story

 

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