This season has presented plenty challenges for Haitian farmers. Drought, flooding, extreme heat, and even caterpillar infestations have threatened crops.
Luckily, MFK's Agriculture team spends the entire growing season transferring new skills to dozens of farmers through weekly training sessions. Skills and knowledge about soil conservation, crop rotation, aflatoxin control, and more lead to greater success for these farmers each growing season.
We know that local agriculture is a key part of the sustainable solution to eliminating hunger. Recent reports from FAO state that investing in local agricultural inputs in developing countries strengthen food systems, which in turn prevents and addresses malnutrition. By supporting farmers in-country, those farmers benefit financially with increased crop production to sell in markets, and families benefit with increased access to nutritious food.
With this in mind, MFK's agriculture activities continue year-round. Although Haiti's growing season is coming to a close, exciting things are in store:
This September, the 87 participants of this season's farmer trainings will graduate and become certified partners of MFK's farmers' network, including 10 Champion farmers who have received personalized mentorship. These farmers will go on to produce high-quality peanuts to sell in markets, feed families, and progress towards a healthier Haiti. To date, more than 2,700 Haitian farmers have participated in MFK's trainings and MFK has purchased more than 500,000 kg of Haitian peanuts.
The Meds & Food for Kids Board of Directors recently approved plans to establish an Agriculture Committee to support the organization's related initiatives. Recognizing agriculture as a vital pillar of MFK's holistic model of sustainable development, the committee will support MFK's agriculture team by providing strategic guidance, identifying meaningful projects and opportunities, and by helping to build partnerships to contribute to food security.
With 4.9 million Haitians unsure of where their next meal will come from, MFK is committed to strengthening the country's agricultural capacity to feed those who are in most need. To amend the popular phrase, "Teach a farmer to grow peanuts, and their community will eat for a lifetime."