World Food Day: Hungry for Hope
Written by Plant With Purpose on October 16, 2015 in Farm Friday, General
In honor of World Food Day, we’re celebrating farming families who are putting more food on their tables, diversifying their crops, regenerating their soil, and eating more nutritious meals. Today (and everyday) Plant With Purpose is part of the movement to end hunger.
Earlier this week the 2015 Global Hunger Index was released. Once again, Haiti’s ranking is low—99 out of 104 countries meaning that the level of hunger is alarming. Haiti is considered to have one of the highest proportions of undernourished people in the world with around 50 percent suffering from insufficient food supply.
However, partnering farmers are experiencing transformation. Today we honor Eugène Seide from Acul du Nord, Haiti as he shares the impact Plant With Purpose is having on his farm, his family, and his future.
Eugène speaks about his farm with Plant With Purpose’s Haitian Regional Coordinator Jean Kenold Augustin. The transcript follows.
I remember, when I looked up on this hill, you would say, “Oh! What happened here?” So I told the Plant With Purpose agronomists and they told me, “You can protect this land.”
I told them this is my own land so there’s no problem. They said, “Okay, we’ll give you some trees,” which they brought to me and I planted them here.
After I planted them, I planted crops. And you see how good the crops are—before this ground gave absolutely nothing.
So after I improved this plot, I planted crops—all these crops here—I harvested them. I sold them. I ate them. And I hope to have more food from these trees since I haven’t harvested [fruit] from them yet. I will continue to harvest because this land is now protected.
I have benefited from this. I’ve eaten so much! And I will continue to eat because I will continue to cultivate here since the soil will continue to improve. Before, the water just used to run off. Now, the water can’t just run. Yes it continues to run in certain places but it can’t do anything [damage] to the land anymore.
I will continue to work this land. Everyone in the area … well, some people ask what I have planted here. I say I have planted pigeon pea. They can see. It was just rocks before and now they see something else.
Because before, it was just rocks … land that could produce nothing, nothing. But now, you see a big manioc plant down there. I’ve harvested pineapple already, and I’m hoping to harvest beans, and the trees I’ve planted to make some money.
Kenold: Something you said earlier, you said you you’ve sold and eaten crops. Can you share how much pigeon pea you’ve sold?
Well, basically it is my wife who does the selling. I don’t know. And I don’t ask her. She doesn’t tell me about those kinds of things. But the value of the pigeon pea from this plot must be more than 1500 Haitian Gourdes [about $30 USD].
Kenold: When you compare this land—the way it was before with the way it is now—what would you say about the depth of the soil now?
The soil now ‘has meat.’ It is improving. It has depth. Before it was just bones that couldn’t even grow weeds. Now with the way it is, you can grow anything here.
Now, I’ve planted pigeon pea. When they are done, I will plant more pigeon pea and more trees. And the land will become even sweeter.
Kenold: What is the advantage of the wire fence?
The advantage that it gives me is people don’t give me problems anymore. Their animals don’t enter my field.
Kenold: Yes. I remember before you had to pull animals out.
Yes, I had to pull animals out. Now you see it’s different compared to other land that is not fenced. It is different because it is secure, I’m not bothered, and other people are not bothered.
Animals cannot enter. And you see these trees, they might still die, but at least they can’t be damaged by animals.
Kenold: And it means you don’t have arguments with anyone.
Yes, I don’t have arguments with anyone.
Farmers like Eugène Seide give hope to Plant With Purpose. This program is having a life-changing impact on thousands of families around the world. If you’d like to learn more or contribute to the our Plant For Tomorrow campaign, please visit plantwithpurpose.org.