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Sign of Hope in Haiti

This sign was unveiled to mark the start of a partnership between the Haitian Ministry of Environment
and the Smallholder Farmers Alliance, with a special focus on reforestation.

A large sign was unveiled on a rural road in Haiti last week to signal the start of a new partnership between the Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA) and the Ministry of Agriculture. Located near the farming community of Bayonnais, a few miles from the city of Gonaives, the sign translates as “Let’s together protect trees – trees mean life for all of us.”

In order to ensure that the sign and the partnership will translate into concrete action, all those involved in the unveiling proceeded to the nearby farming community of Terre Rouge and joined with local farmers to plant 100 trees.

Everyone involved in the sign unveiling joined local farmers in planting 100 trees.At both the unveiling and the tree planting, Executive Director Timote Georges represented the SFA. The Ministry of Environment was represented by National Programme Coordinator, Ostine Louverture and Gonaives Director, Edmond Norvelyn. Mayor Jose Dieulaine Philogene Saint Louis represented the city of Gonaives.

The SFA has been implementing its model of tree currency in this area since 2010. Smallholder farmers grow, transplant and look after trees as a way to earn the seeds, tools and training they need to improve their crop yields and increase their incomes.

The trees are planted as living fences, along roads, on slopes to prevent flooding and in orchards. Trees are also being planted by farmers to restore community land, and several of these reforestation sites near Gonaives (such as the one shown below near Bayonnais) will eventually be connected together to form the first green belt of its kind in Haiti.

SFA farmers have reforested community land near the farming community of Bayonnais. All the trees in
the lower half of this photo were grown and transplanted by SFA farmers.
The SFA is working closely with the Ministry of the Environment to ensure that its activities align with the Ministry’s goals for protecting the environment and implementing nature conservation. The partnership also means that SFA farmers will receive additional training in these areas and that their children will benefit from a specialized educational outreach.

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