In Haiti, where farming is a mainstay of the economy, chronic extreme weather exacerbated by climate change has locked many families into cycles of food insecurity. A staggering 49 per cent of people are undernourished—that’s every second person.
Lucsius is one such farmer facing these challenges. Unsure of how to adapt his agricultural practices to help his crops survive, he used to experience months or even seasons of inconsistent yields.
Yet, standing in his vibrant garden of legumes, cassava, cabbage, peppers, carrots, beans, potatoes and bananas, his eyes were wide in fascination as he described how a PWS&D-supported project helped transform life for him and other farmers in his community: “Through a participatory strategy which encourages farmers to come together,” he reflected, “it is possible to produce better to be able to feed our families.”
For the last seven years, this 59-year-old husband and father of three has joined with others in his town to participate in a PWS&D project implemented by Partnership for Local Development, a Haitian organization. PWS&D resources are multiplied three times at Canadian Foodgrains Bank – tremendously extending the impact of the work.
Benefitting almost 20,000 people over three years, the project embraces local, farmer-owned cooperatives in Haiti. Farmers receive training in soil conservation, fertility management and diversity of production, which helps increase yields and resilience to disasters.
The community of support also means more financial freedom: using their new savings or low-interest loans from the group, farmers make purchases to improve their farms and support their families’ food, education and health needs.
Involvement in the farmers’ groups has allowed Lucsius to pay his children’s school fees, look after medical bills and build a latrine so that his loved ones can have a healthier future—all things he wouldn’t have dreamed possible. Now a mentor to others as the president of his farmers’ group, Lucsius is excited to keep growing the groups which he considers “of great importance to the community.”
*PWS&D is a member of Canadian Foodgrains Bank, a partnership of 15 churches and church agencies working together to end global hunger.