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Mega-producer, Timberland, has partnered with the Smallholder Farmers Alliance to plant trees in earthquake battered Haiti. The organization supports an agroforestry program that has planted 2.2. million trees in the country. There will be an additional 1 million trees in 2013, with an additional 1 million planted between 2014 and 2015.
The Smallholder Farmers Alliance is hoping that this venture will help improve the social and economic conditions in the Gonaives region. Timberland and SFA hope that local farmers will learn how to improve crop yields, develop eight community tree nurseries, and support agricultural training centers in the region.
In a press release, The Smallholder Farmers Alliance detailed the benefits from planting the trees.
“The Smallholder Farmers Alliance engaged a group of 2,000 small-scale farmers in the rural area near Gonaives, Haiti, and transformed the group into a for-profit agroforestry cooperative. After just three years of investment, the cooperative continues as a farmer-managed, self-financed operation. This innovation in “exit strategy aid,” which sets a time limit on external funding, tackles a key challenge faced by corporate organizations when getting involved in sustainability or disaster relief projects on the ground in developing nations.
The farmers volunteer their time to manage the tree nurseries and plant trees in return for agricultural services that result in increased crop yields of between 40 and 50 percent. These services provide high yield seed, training in crop management, in-field technical support and the good quality tools needed to produce higher yields of sorghum, beans, corn and other food items. Farmers sell their crops individually, but the cooperative supports them by paying for these continued services with the sale of excess trees from the farmer-run tree nurseries.”
Asa Lovechild is an accomplished actress and singer out of New York City.