“It will never rain roses: when we want to have more roses, we must plant more roses.”

– George Eliot

     Marre-Roseau farmers grow primarily vegetables and herbs, and plant two harvests per year. Since we partnered with them, we have focused on training in the concepts and practice of an agricultural cooperative.  After a year of training, they are now functioning as a cooperative, conducting meetings, respecting the one member one vote democratic process, and gaining skills necessary to run their co-op. They have given themselves the name of: Coopérative Agricole de Marre-Roseau en Action (CAMA).  

     Feeling confident and empowered, farmers project submitting their paperwork  to become an officially registered co-op in the first quarter of 2020.

CAMA activities:

THE GOAT PROJECT

     Our partner-farming families live in dire poverty so they don’t have checking or savings accounts at local banks. This is why men and women chose the Goat Project to be their first initiative as a cooperative.

     Goats are a form of savings, but the way our Goat Project is structured, the number of goats will multiply exponentially and, therefore, we will work with CAMA members to establish a business centered on goats. This will become an additional source of revenue.

     According to the local family structure, women are responsible for animal husbandry. They are in charge of the goats and of the revenues. As studies demonstrate, women make different choices when it comes to spending, focusing much more on the well-being of the family.

CROP DIVERSIFICATION

     To lift themselves out of poverty, CAMA members must look for new markets and new sources of revenue.  Living high in the mountains is a perfect microclimate to grow high quality coffee for export.  At one time, Haiti was the second largest coffee producer in the world – today it lags way behind at 0.2%.

     Coffee production demands a substantial investment of time and money on the part of the farming families as it takes 3-5 years for a coffee tree to produce.
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THE MARRE-ROSEAU COMMUNITY

     Being an isolated, hard to reach area has forced the Marre-Roseau farmers to try harder and think ‘smarter’ to succeed producing crops in challenging conditions.  They adopted certain aspects of the permaculture agricultural method without ever hearing about it. They simply try new approaches and adopt what works best.

     The lack of water I one of several reasons why the cycle of poverty repeats itself in each generation. At an altitude of 6,000 feet, the region has no aquifers or rivers.

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