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Smallholder Farmers Alliance Blog


Haiti Must Redouble Efforts to Boost Agriculture; Cannot Afford to Fail

60 percent of Haitians rely on farming to feed their families. Photo: Oxfam.

The following text accompanied the launch of Planting Now (2nd Edition): Revitalizing agriculture for reconstruction and development in Haiti, which is part of a long Oxfam tradition of exceptionally comprehensive and insightful reports on development in Haiti and other parts of the world. This particular briefing paper gives one of the best overviews of farming in Haiti that you will find anywhere.

With 60 percent of Haitians relying on farming to feed their families, a revitalized sector is absolutely crucial to long-term growth

Plans and programs to improve the Haitian agriculture sector since the 2010 earthquake have been insufficient, says international organization Oxfam in a new report. Efforts by the Haitian government and the international community have fallen short of revitalizing the sector, improving conditions for small-scale local farmers, or recognizing the important role of women in agriculture.

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Secret Life of Roots

New discoveries about roots leads to better understanding of the role of organic matter in the soil.

This article by Michele Owens was originally published in Garden Design magazine. She reports on new discoveries regarding the extraordinarily complex life of roots.

All gardeners set out to grow healthy plants, but they also face a stubborn barrier, a curtain beyond which eyesight ends and mystery begins: the surface of the soil. Below, plants root in darkness, and our ministrations above ground only sometimes seem to determine whether our charges will go belly up or thrive.

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Haiti‚Äôs Lost Creole Pigs

Creole pigs were once an important part of the rural economy of Haiti.

Many people point to the slaughter of the country’s pig stock as helping to fuel the popular revolt that toppled Baby Doc Duvalier. Known as Creole pigs, or “cochon-planches,” these small, black, resilient hogs had long been more than just farm animals, but represented a savings bank that could be sold to pay for school fees, medical emergencies, weddings, or seed for crops. As such, they were a key component of the rural economy.

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