Community Farming Program
Historically, agriculture has been one of the most important and consistent industries in Haiti. But like so many other issues in this developing country, there are many barriers to success for those who want to farm the land. First, all land in Haiti is owned by the government, so would-be farmers must navigate a confusing bureaucracy (and at times corruption) in order to get the permits needed to utilize the land for agricultural purposes. When, and if, they get the permits, they then have to secure the funds and resources needed to buy seed, equipment, irrigation, and animals to actually begin farming. Finally, even if they’ve been successful in producing a crop, they then must have a community that can afford to purchase and/or barter for their goods. That’s where Overture enters the picture.
Why is Farming So Important?
Farming literally feeds all Five Pillars of the Overture Social Support Model because when farming prospers, community members are healthier and more productive in all areas of their lives. That’s why through our Community Farming Program we equip farmers to develop long-term food and economic security in the communities we serve by providing:
seeds and/or fruit trees best suited for the family and community
tools for planting, cultivating and harvesting
animals for producing products like eggs, milk and meat as well as animals to provide labor for tilling and harvesting
irrigation equipment (such as 10 water pumps) to provide a reliable source of water for farming
Our Goal for Community Farming
Our ESPWA compound actually owns 120 acres of land it utilizes for community farming. The community farm provides not only the land, but also much of the equipment, tools, education, and irrigation needed to ensure success. This enables farmers to have easily accessible land, cutting through the red tape and reducing the cost of entering the “field” for prospective farmers. Our Community Farming and Crop Share Program provides access to farmable land, seed and other supplies to grow their own food as well as some surplus food they can sell and/or trade for other goods and services.