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Water Harvesting Workshop, Cape Haitian, with Scott Pittman
Gabion, Grande Anse Region, with Scott Pittman
Swale Workshop, Lilliane Farm, Dame Marie
Siblings on demonstration farm near Juli
Permaculture Plan by farmers, for Dame Marie Farm
Polyculture Design for Sustainable Cacao Production in Haiti
... for most recent permaculture work in the country by the permaculture community in general see “Rethinking Disaster Relief”
... keep reading about our project in the country below
Polyculture design and permaculture techniques were introduced by Scott Pittman, as part of the Sustainable Cacao Production Project. Permaculture workshops were held in six locations across the country, in 2004 - 2006 period, offering practical training to local farmers.
Polyculture+Permaculture design approach allows for production of the primary cash crop (cacao) combined with hardwoods, fruit, and some annual crops, while also paying attention to soil conservation and watershed restoration on each demonstration farm and in the larger surrounding landscape.
The total farm polyculture and water harvesting elements function as a savings account for times when the cacao market is weak or there is crop failure, or drought or flooding threaten the crops. The Sustainable Cacao Production project also is in the process of training the Haitian farmers in permaculture and developing a program where the farmers will become the teachers for the future. Without economic and social success in these rural regions the area will continue to hemorrhage the farmers and their knowledge to the urban slums of Port au Prince, Cape Haitian, Gonaives, and Jeremie.
This is a critical program in a country that has 96 percent deforestation and growing pressure on any forests left for fuel. The primary cooking fuel in Haiti is charcoal and this has created a high price for all wood products, including fruit trees and valuable hard woods. It is critical that an alternative fuel is developed for cooking and so far nothing has been developed or suggested. Solar cookers have been met with resounding negativity for a variety of reasons but the bottom line is that if they aren’t used they don’t contribute to the solution. Our effort is to encourage farmers to grow a diverse polyculture inclusive of fuel forests, as well as cash crops.
This project is currently on hold until the political situation is less threatening to foreigners.