What it is: “Being an isolated, hard to reach village has forced the Marre-Roseau farmers to try harder and think ‘smarter’ to succeed in very difficult conditions. For one, being in the mountains there is no aquafer and no river nearby – meaning there is no water.
While training plain farmers in permaculture and having little success in persuading them to adopt a better agricultural method , imagine my joy when meeting the people of Marre-Roseau who, without ever having heard of permaculture, are practicing a basic form of it! When asked how they arrived at this practice, they answered: “by trial and error we found what worked.” This excerpt from Henryka Manès’s field report illustrates well the spirit of Marre-Roseau’s inhabitants.
EWI has been training Marre-Roseau farmers in both permaculture to improve on what they have achieved so far, and in the concepts and practice of agricultural cooperatives. They are the right partners for EWI to work together on establishing the first TFC cooperative.
Currently, local farmers grow vegetables and herbs, but mountains’ cooler microclimate is perfect for coffee and cacao. This will be our next step.
A current priority is to explore rainwater collecting systems to bring water to the village. Another, is to establish a reliable produce delivery system given the road conditions: narrow passages, steep incline, potholes, and stones.
The projected time to open the co-op is in the first quarter of 2020.
Update: The cooperative – Marre-Roseau reached its first milestone: farmers trained by EWI are now training other farmers. One of the objectives is to train at least 200 local farmers, which we will reach in April 2019. The step after that is to form the Planning Committee.