Preparations are underway on campus for Labor and Agriculture Day on May 1st! The children are looking forward to a day full of activities.
In a country long challenged by food insecurity, Haitian farmers face many obstacles including limited access to capital, environmental degradation, cheap imports undermining the local market, and poor access to markets which limits their potential to scale production. Even still, agriculture is the largest sector of the Haitian economy, employing roughly two-thirds of the labor force but accounting for only one-fourth of the gross domestic product (Britannica).
At Pwoje Espwa, we recognize the importance of agriculture by showing an ongoing support for local farmers through our Farm2Kitchen Program.
With the Farm2Kitchen Program, we support our local farmers by being a dependable customer for the foods needed to prepare our meals. Farmers that know they have a market will be motivated to produce as much food as possible. We collaborate with farmers so that they know our exact needs in order to prepare nutritious meals for our beneficiaries. We buy directly from them before they take their goods to the market, and we purchase at market rates.
This program brought success within a few months, with approximately 35% of our overall food purchases coming directly from local farmers.
We make a conscious effort to buy as much of our kitchen products from local farmers as we can. This includes peanut butter, cassava, bread, rice, bananas and corn.
The last year, and especially the last few months, challenges have deepened for Haitian individuals, families, farmers, as well as for us at Pwoje Espwa. Due to high inflation and continued social and political instability in the country, markets have also become more volatile. Prices in goods have increased dramatically, as we are paying up to four times what would we normally pay for some goods.
The Farm2Kitchen Program allows us to not only provide healthy, locally sourced meals to the children, but we also create more opportunities to empower local farmers and support the economy. By stimulating jobs and economic opportunities, we are supporting our Haitian brothers and sisters in breaking the vicious cycle of poverty.
We are proud to support our local men and women who work tirelessly to feed their people and provide for their families!
Rice fields in the community and locally grown produce
Stay tuned later this week as we share updates from activities across campus in celebration of Labor and Agriculture Day!