Emergency Supplies and Trees for Farm Families Impacted By Storm Damage
PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI, October 20, 2016 – The Haitian non-profit (SFA) and its international affiliate, , today launched an appeal for donations to their joint “” to aid farmers affected by Hurricane Matthew. This initiative will provide targeted support for up to 1,400 farm families in 15 rural communities, 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.
Hurricane Matthew’s force impacted farmers throughout Haiti. Those in in the storm’s 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.
The Operation’s donation website, developed by the Modular company, breaks new ground by allowing visitors to personalize their donation by choosing from a registry that ranges from emergency food items to crop seeds to hand tools. Choices also include building tree nurseries and sponsoring individual tree planting because the SFA model integrates tree planting with improved agriculture.
“Haiti is an agrarian nation whose short and long-term recovery is irrevocably linked to the fate of its one million small-scale farm families,” said Hugh Locke, President of both the Smallholder Farmers Alliance and Impact Farming, “and our goal is to make tree planting by farmers a way for them to earn support to improve their crop yields and profits. We aim to give trees a value that is greater than being cut for charcoal, while at the same time planting a buffer against future hurricanes and storms.”
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 percent and household incomes by an average of 50 percent. 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.
In addition to the short-term relief efforts, the SFA will soon be announcing results of a several month-long feasibility study for reintroducing cotton as an export crop. This longer-term plan has potential to connect Haitian smallholder farmers to the global economy while increasing domestic food production.
About Smallholder Farmers Alliance
The Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA) applies business solutions to help feed and reforest a renewed Haiti by establishing market-based farmer cooperatives, building agricultural export markets, creating rural farm businesses and contributing to community development.
About Impact Farming
Impact Farming works with smallholder farmers internationally to scale business solutions that integrate sustainable food production with increased tree cover and self-financed community development. Impact Farming also supports the work of the Haiti-based Smallholder Farmers Alliance
Modular is a software development collective specializing in e-commerce & mobile user experience. Comprised of a global team of developers and designers, Modular promotes a culture of diversity and forward-thinking. Their work includes collaborating with the Refugee Code Academy, which provides programming workshops for Syrian refugees.