Our focus is RURAL POVERTY - Our solution is TALIA FARMS
Agriculture represents 25% of Haiti’s GDP. Yet, more than 85% of Haitian farmers are small-scale, subsistence farmers who live in extreme poverty and are left behind to fend for themselves.
Ecoworks International together with the rural families and leaders of the Lake Azueï region built the Talia Farms Program, a comprehensive, long-term, socio-economic development whose purpose is to break the cycle of poverty among small-scale, subsistence farmers. Close to 90% of the local population is involved in farming which is their principal source of income.
Unfortunately, the current way farmers cultivate, and the lack of access to vital resources prevent them from earning a living wage. The role of EWI’s Talia Farms is to meet their needs, increase their capacity, and work with them, side by side, so they can become self-reliant.
The complexity of deeply entrenched poverty and of creating a path to escape it, requires that Talia Farms integrates three key sectors: Economy, Community, and Environment.
Economic development is the principal component of EWI’s Talia Farms. It was built around farmers’ choice of continuing to farm on their own plot of land, even if it’s small, and have access to ongoing training and support to grow their capacity. Consequently, Talia Farms provides diverse programs that ready farmers to form and join an agricultural cooperative. Once they become coop members, they will benefit from a life-long support system, and learn how to own it, and run it.
When the agricultural production is well-established, EWI will create an entrepreneurship program to diversify the local economy, provide young people with alternatives to agriculture, and help women who wish to transition from street markets into more established business ventures.
COMMUNITY: HEALTHCARE AND EDUCATION
No economic growth program can succeed without an equally strong commitment to community development. Establish access to healthcare, education, literacy and malnutrition treatment programs is a vital part of Talia Farms.
Intrinsically linked to economic growth and community development is environmental remediation and stewardship. Everything that we do, is evaluated in terms of environmental impact. For instance, soil quality impacts agricultural production which, in turn, impacts farmers’ income; Lake Azueï’s nearly collapsed ecosystem and subsequent extinction of its fish population, has deprived surrounding villages from their principal income source, further plunging them into poverty. Environmental issues are survival issues.
EWI has established a permanent disaster relief program which began with our response to the January 2010 devastating earthquake, and continues to this day, to mitigate the destruction caused by recurring hurricanes, floods and landslides.