Our Agriculture Program
Hurricane Matthew hit southern Haiti late in 2016, passing right over the heads of director Mandy Thody, volunteer Robin Bolton and the 4000 villagers in western Ile a Vache. A Category 5 storm, it destroyed much of the housing, all of the crops and many fields and small businesses. We were very lucky in being on the ground there, able to help immediately, and in the fact that our modern chicken houses survived, along with half the chickens! Funds, generously donated, were used for tools, roofing tin, cement, provision of meals and basic foodstuffs for 4 months, seed for farmers, medical care and more. We then started 2017 with a bang, flying into Les Cayes (near Ile a Vache) in January by private plane (thanks to Fiona Horne!) with 350 chicks of a new breed of layer-hen, 3 large rabbits, and much other aid, plus expertise in the form of our agronomy advisor Dr Stuart Weiss, who performed miracles in a few days, inspiring many people to useful action! Our school at La Hatte benefitted enormously from the better diet we now produce, with eggs and chicken in quantity, also extended to the elderly, sick, pregnant women and victims of the storm. We now have 3 fields in production, are about to launch another chicken house for our mainland school, and offer the best diet of any school we know of in Haiti!
Our program is headed by Anousse Paul, originally from the North of Haiti and Gonaives, who studied first in the DR, and then obtained his 5 year Agronomy degree in Benin, West Africa! He has been with us for 3 years and is in charge of all aspects of the program.
Our specialist advisor is Dr Stuart Weiss, from Texas, currently with UVI in St Croix, who has worked in 9 tropical countries and specialises in Low Input Tropical Agriculture for peasant societies.
Anousse's right hand man is Elysée Saroby, a qualified agronomist from Au Cayes, who joined us in January, with a particular interest in rabbits.
Pedro (John Pedro Pierre) is our foreman, the hardest worker ever. He is assisted by Payoute, Papoute our head ploughman, and three to four other men year round.