The Louis G. Lamothe Foundation is rolling out, over three years, a sustainable agriculture project of approximately USD 500,000 in Nan Pangnol, Haiti. This project will incorporate capacity building, the reinforcement of the production and marketing systems for agricultural projects, the revegetation of the micro-catchment areas and better management of the water resources.
Despite the strong agricultural potential of the area, the inhabitants of Nan Pangnol do not generate enough revenue to meet their basic needs. This is due largely to:
- the difficulty in procuring quality seeds and fertilisers
- high post-harvest losses due to the difficulty in preserving and transporting the produce to market
- decreasing crop yields due to soil losses on steep slopes
- persistent drought as a result of climate change.
The project aims to increase the crop yield of Nan Pangnol by 30%, densify the plant cover of the micro-catchment areas, stabilise the slopes and improve the use of run-off waters as well as the produce marketing system.
Responsible stakeholders are necessary to ensure the sustainable management of the infrastructures that will be set up in Nan Pangnol. Initial training sessions in organisational structuring and financial management will be scheduled. The FLGL plans to develop a partnership with several institutions specialising in organisational reinforcement to allow existing organisations to play their role in the development of Nan Pangnol more efficiently.
The Foundation will make contact with providers of agricultural inputs like seeds, tools, plant protection products and fertilisers to set up an outlet closer to Nan Pangnol. It will also act as the point of contact with fertiliser providers to organise the proper training of the farmers in these products. Commercial partnerships will also be facilitated between the Nan Pangnol farmers’ organisations and the supermarket owners with regard to the marketing of the produce.
The Foundation is planning a number of measures to spread awareness of the problem of soil erosion in the micro-catchment areas. A number of training sessions will address issues like soil degradation, climate change and reforestation, and the community, including schoolchildren, will be mobilised for seed-planting days. Six thousand (6 000) seedlings will be planted at the start of the project. Each year, prizes will be awarded to the schoolchildren and plot owners who have planted and nurtured the most trees.
Building a number of hillside dams will allow the reuse of run-off waters, limit the run-off waters to control soil erosion and improve the environmental and climatic conditions.
Key to the process will be capacity building, the dissemination of knowledge and training and partnerships with the appropriate Ministries to assist with various phases of the project. The Foundation believes that the best way to help a community is to empower it to support itself. While the Foundation will focus on seeking funds, on the facilitation between the different stakeholders, on the management of the funds and on monitoring the progress, the Nan Pangnol community organisations will be involved in participatory management and the implementation of the various components of the project.