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“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:


     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.

The Cooperative of Mare-Roseau and Ecoworks International Completed the Goat Project
It provided a three-day intense training in best practice of goat care to over thirty farmers, each farmer signed the CAMA-EWI contract obligating them to pay 20% of the goat’s price (their choice) and to give the first kid to the next family, the 20% fee was paid on time and the Project distributed eighteen goats. The next in line recipients to get the first-born kids are already trained and ready to welcome their baby goat.

 Results of the Goat Project
1. Farmers paid something for the goats, which gives them pride in their ownership, it helps weaning them away from dependency, and gaining a greater sense of agency. They are now stakeholder in the overall regional development program.
2. The Project reinforces the advantage of owning and managing a cooperative.
3. In five years, Mare-Roseau farmers will own five goats each, which will give them a solid financial footing.  At that point, more than 350 families will own goats.

The Goat Project was made possible by the generosity of the Rotary Club of Coral Gables, EWI's Board of Directors, and individual donors like you. The Cooperative of Mare-Roseau (CAMA) and EWI thank you for sharing our passion for supporting smallholder farming families in their quest to maintain their status of independent agricultural producers while seeking to reach the highest level of their autonomy, self-sufficiency, and sustainability 


     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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     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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