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Smallholder Farmers Alliance Blog

Friday
Oct092015

Smallholder Farmers Alliance Travels North From Haiti… to South by Southwest

Filmmaker Gabriel London, SFA co-founders Hugh Locke and Timote Georges, and Timberland’s Margaret
Morey-Reuner in a panel presentation following the premiere of Kombit: The Cooperative at SXSW Eco in
Austin, Texas on October 5th, 2015.

A new documentary film chronicling the efforts of Timberland and the Smallholders Farmers Alliance (SFA) to plant 5 million trees in Haiti had its premiere this week at SXSW Eco 2015 in Austin, Texas. 

Kombit: The Cooperative, produced by Found Object films and directed by award-winning filmmaker Gabriel London, tells the unlikely story of how a bootmaking company and a grassroots farmers’ cooperative program in Haiti joined forces in an innovative private/public partnership with the goal of planting 5 million trees in 5 years in a country that now has less than 2% remaining tree cover

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Saturday
Oct032015

Global Count Reaches 3 Trillion Trees

Data from more than 400,000 hectares of surveyed forest were used to produce a planetary tree count.
Photo: David Zeleny
REPRINT > Rachel Ehrenberg for Nature

There are roughly 3 trillion trees on Earth — more than seven times the number previously estimated — according to a tally by an international team of scientists. The study also finds that human activity is detrimental to tree abundance worldwide. Around 15 billion trees are cut down each year, the researchers estimate; since the onset of agriculture about 12,000 years ago, the number of trees worldwide has dropped by 46%.

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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. 

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Thursday
Aug272015

Haiti Drought Cuts Harvests, Raises Prices, Food Crisis Looms: WFP

Street market in Haiti. Photo credit: Smallholder Farmers Alliance / Andres Cortez

REPRINT > by Anastasia Moloney for Thomson Reuters Foundation / August 26, 2015

A severe drought in Haiti has led to acute water shortages, shriveled harvests and raised food prices, weakening the fragile food supply and worsening hunger among the poor, the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) said.

The poorest country in the Americas, Haiti already struggles to feed its population of 10.4 million, and 600,000 Haitians already rely on international food aid to survive, the WFP says.

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Thursday
Aug062015

Chelsea Clinton Meets Moringa Farmers in Haiti

Chelsea Clinton in Haiti last week with two women farmers, Mercillie Romeus (left) and Marie
Dorcelus (right), who are leaders in introducing moringa trees (such as the sapling they are holding)
as a new export crop there. Photo credit: Sebastian Petion / Smallholder Farmers Alliance.

Who would have thought the leaves of one very ordinary looking tree would hold the secret for addressing three critical issues in Haiti: improving nutrition, empowering women and expanding agricultural export.

The leaves of the fast-growing moringa tree, which grows throughout Haiti, contain 9 essential amino acids, 27 vitamins and 46 antioxidants, making it one of the most nutrient dense plants on earth. Just one tablespoon of dried moringa leaf powder is the equivalent of a full serving of vegetables plus a multivitamin combined, making it a valuable tool for improving nutrition.

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Tuesday
Jul142015

Moringa Recipe Competition Supports Smallholder Farmers in Haiti

Kuli Kuli, the company that introduced moringa to the US market in food products, has launched a moringa-inspired recipe competition on Instagram.

The top ten recipes that receive the most Instagram likes will be reviewed by internationally-renowned Chef José Andrés and a panel of judges from World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit that uses the power of food to empower communities and strengthen economies. The winner will receive a trip to Washington DC and dinner at Chef José Andrés' new restaurant – China Chilcano.

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Wednesday
Jul082015

Small farmers can be major actors in reducing agriculture's carbon footprint - UN agency

Farmers growing lettuce and other vegetables in the highlands of Bevatu Settlement, Nadrau,
Viti Levu, Fiji. Photo: IFAD/Susan Beccio

REPRINT > from UN News Centre / July 8, 2015

Helping farmers adapt to the impacts of climate change can also significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, finds a new study released today by one of the agricultural agencies of the United Nations system.

“What this report shows is that smallholder farmers are a key part of the solution to the climate change challenge,” said Michel Mordasini, Vice President of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). “With the right investments, smallholders can feed a growing planet while at the same time restoring degraded ecosystems and reducing agriculture's carbon footprint.”

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Monday
Jun292015

Dominican Republic’s deportation of Haitians is ‘akin to apartheid’

Getting their voices heard: Activists participate in a rally outside the Embassy of the Dominican
Republic on Monday in in Washington, DC. Activists protested the mass deportations and expulsions
taking place in the Dominican Republic, as a result of a 2013 ruling. | Alex Wong Getty Images

REPRINT > by Raymond A. Joseph for the Miami Herald / June 27, 2015

Dominican officials are poised to deport thousands of Haitian migrants and Dominicans of Haitian descent to Haiti in an ethnic-cleansing folly with wide-range repercussions.

The Dominican officials, who fancy their country as being white, are determined to rid the Dominican Republic of as many people as possible who “look Haitian,” meaning too black for their taste. (Although of fairer skin than Haitians, the overwhelming majority of Dominicans would be classified as black in the U.S.)

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