Agriculture in Haiti
Convoy of Hope’s Agriculture Initiative helps families and farmers by providing them with the skills and tools to grow healthy crops. This plan generates tens of thousands of meals to feed starving children while simultaneously providing much-needed work and income to the impoverished farmers.

Food security is a top priority in the fight against poverty. When people are hungry, they cannot focus on becoming economically independent, as their primary focus is to feed themselves and their families. Convoy of Hope helps farmers to ensure the food security of local communities while also playing a major role in lifting disaster-ridden communities through agriculture in Haiti and around the world.

The Agriculture Initiative was piloted in Haiti where food aid became a burden instead of a benefit. After years of receiving food in the wake of disasters, local farmers had lost the knowledge of proper farming techniques. This agricultural team is led by Jason Streubel. Streubel is a Senior Advisor for Agriculture at Convoy of Hope, associate professor of applied science at Evangel University and holds a Ph.D. in Soil Science from Washington State University. Streubel and Convoy of Hope have launched projects for agriculture in Haiti and several other countries worldwide.

Streubel and a team of agronomists from Convoy’s partner, Mission of Hope Haiti, facilitate this process by providing local farmers with resources that were previously unavailable to them.

Convoy’s team trains local farmers in agronomy, which is the science of soil management. After participating in the program, these farmers are able to grow their own crops, produce enough food to feed their families and provide some food for Convoy’s children’s feeding efforts in the country. The program is growing as quickly as the farmers’ crops; their efforts are expanding to reach the rest of the hungry world. Convoy of Hope now offers programs on how to start and maintain urban gardens in countries like the Dominican Republic and the Philippines.

Much of the program’s success can be attributed to its well organized three-step approach.

  1. Assessment
    Convoy uses the best tools available to analyze the environment, looking at everything from the local culture to the economic situation in order to understand and deal with the food security needs of a given community.
  2. Education
    Convoy provides curriculum, workshops and professional agronomists to teach the people how to farm properly. They also encourage farmers to share the information with as many people as possible, helping to grow the agricultural industry in Haiti and around the world.
  3. Implementation
    Once underway, a trained agronomist assists local farmers in applying the best agronomic practices in the fields, allowing for a much greater crop yield.

Convoy of Hope’s implementation of successful agriculture programs provides a sustainable solution to address hunger and poverty. Rather than simply feeding the hungry, Convoy of Hope gives them the tools to feed themselves and grow as their crops do: from the ground up.

Aaron Parr

Photo: Flickr