Agriculture Spotlight: Meet Brenus

From MFK Agronomist and Agricultural Program Manager, James Blanc
March 23, 2022

Brenus Charles is a community leader in a small town called Welsh. Welsh is home to about one thousand people and is located 25 minutes from Ouanaminthe. Agriculture is the main activity for this small village that neighbors the small-town of Dajabon in the Dominican Republic. Peanuts, corn, cassava roots, beans are the primary crops grown in the area. The village is green, breezy, and quiet. This beautiful community is home to Brenus, who lives there with his wife and his two children. He learned about the Meds & Food for Kids’ farmer training program through a friend in Savane Longue, where MFK has trained peanut farmers for almost a decade.

Brenus decided to join the farmer training in 2020,  commuting on his motorcycle for 30 minutes weekly to participate in the training in a community out of town. When asked why he wanted to attend the MFK training, Brenus smiled and said: “I am always looking to learn new things and new techniques. I am a farmer and I grew up seeing my father and my mother doing the same thing. With that, they were able to educate me, and I am the only one in my family who can read. I wanted to follow in their footsteps and at the same time learn new techniques.” He added that he is very happy to be part of MFK’s farmer network because not only he was able to get on trained on a wide variety of topics, but he was also given an opportunity to sell his products to MFK . 

Brenus and his wife, who also graduated from the MFK training program, manage 3 small farms to provide for their family. The couple says that they harvest close to 1,000 kg of peanuts each season from their 6 acres total of land, and are proud suppliers to MFK.

In 2021, Brenus reached out to the MFK Agricultural team to ask for the MFK training session to be held in his community. He believed that the quality of training he got was behind his success and wanted for others in his community who couldn’t travel out of town for training to benefit from the program as well. MFK began farmer training in his community in the fall of 2021 for a group of 32 farmers. The first group graduated in January of 2022 and another group of 35 farmers is set to begin the training this spring. 

Brenus now manages the training program for MFK in his area, and his wife helps cook for the participants. Brenus is the kind of leader that a community like Welsh could be proud of. He unselfishly pushed to open the door for others to get the same quality of training he got and he provided the space and opportunity for the training to be held. MFK is proud to partner Brenus and other smallholder farmers to provide further opportunities for peanut farmers throughout Haiti.