If you’ve ever tried gardening, wherever you live and whether it was flowers or vegetables, you know the importance of having nutrient-rich soil. If the soil is dry, sandy, or has a high pH, it can be incredibly challenging to grow anything. Haiti especially has a challenging time growing food for a variety of reasons. And when farming makes up a large part of the Haitian economy, having poor soil can have a significant impact on the nation.
At PBIH, our Haiti non-profit organization is passionate about educating and training the families of Haiti and to help them improve their quality of life. To do this, we have developed schools that focus on teaching sustainability practices, general education, and health education.
Agriculture in Haiti
The country of Haiti exports crops such as coffee, mangos, cocoa, and potatoes. However, with the many environmental issues that have plagued the area, including drought, hurricane Isaac, hurricane Sandy, and the earthquake in 2010, producing food crops has been more than challenging. Here are some other reasons why farming is a challenge for Haitians.
- Limited Resources: To be effective and globally competitive a country who relies on farming and agriculture needs to have more than seeds to grow food successfully. However, most Haitian farmers lack the equipment and technology they need to properly plant, grow, and harvest their crops.
- Seed Banks: Seed banks are places where seeds can be stored and unfortunately, Haiti needs more.
- Resource Management: Like many nations around the world, water is a precious resource used for drinking and agriculture. Structural issues in many regions in Haiti make it difficult to have proper irrigation canals.
- Plant Diseases: Beetles may be an issue in the United States, but leaf rust is a major problem for coffee crops in Northeast Haiti. Leaf rust attacks the plant, making it hard for it to grow the coffee bean.
- Livestock: Farmers rely on livestock and if the animals themselves are undernourished, it also leads to them being underproductive.
- Poor Soil: Soil erosion on mountain slopes makes it difficult to farm in certain regions of the country. Only a small fraction of the land can be used for agriculture. Making aquaculture and aquaponics new and very important considerations that don’t require soil or pesticides to produce organic crops.
Important Crops in Haiti
Nutrition is essential for children and families to have a quality life, so many farmers focus mostly on subsistence crops, which are foods that can be grown to feed themselves and their families. These include cassava, a starchy root plant used for flour and tapioca, plantains, bananas, corn, yams, and rice. Coffee is one of Haiti’s largest cash crops.
As you can see, the country is facing a variety of challenges and needs the help of Haiti non-profit organizations. At PBIH, we are passionate about assisting those in need. Whether it’s a school, medical facility, vocational training, or a business, we want to provide the training, technology and resources people need to live quality, healthy lives.
If you want to help our Haiti non-profit organization, please donate a monetary gift or a device (solar panels, batteries, laptops, etc.) that can assist families across the country. If you have any questions, please learn more about us here or give us a call today.