“Instead of foreigners sending us food, they should give us the chance to grow our own.”
– Rony Charles, Rice grower, Verrettes
Agriculture is one of the biggest neglected needs here in Haiti. According to USAID, for several decades Haiti has faced significant food insecurity and nutritional challenges. Chronically high levels of poverty coupled with soil erosion, declining agricultural productivity, and high population growth combine to make obtaining adequate food a daily struggle for many Haitians. It is estimated that, in some departments of the country, up to 30 percent of children suffer from chronic malnutrition. Although approximately 60 percent of Haitians work in agriculture, up to half of Haiti’s food is imported.
The Children's Village is located on 4 acres of land and Mme Soliette has stressed agriculture as a big need. Learning how to sucessfully cultivate, plant, grow, and harvest their own gardens would stimulate some very impressive outcomes:
- Staff and children would learn a trade they can use the rest fo their lives.
- Growing their own produce would supplement some of the cost of purchasing food which currently accounts for about 39% of the overall monthly budget.
- Poteintial surplus could be sold in the local markets allowing for an additional revenue stream as well as teaching business practices of sales.