This blog is part of a series called #SeedingOpportunity that explores the challenges and opportunities related to smallholder farming around the world.
Around the world, we know that while intelligence and ability are evenly distributed, opportunity is not. For many of Haiti’s smallholder farmers, they have the drive to succeed but often lack the resources to build the futures they deserve.
Take, for example, the Haitian peanut sector.
Haiti’s climate and soil are ideal for growing peanuts. But years of low growing productivity, declining farmer revenues, and quality control concerns have hurt the Haitian peanut sector. Farmers in rural regions often lack access to quality inputs – like seeds and fertilizers – as well as access to large, stable buyers who will give them a fair price for their harvests.
All of this amounts to a troubling equation: farmers’ yields are decreasing each year driving market prices up, forcing farmers to sell their harvest over a several month period in local markets with highly volatile prices. This process not only requires a lot of time, energy, and money, but also increases the risk of distributing low quality peanuts or those contaminated with Aflatoxin, a naturally occurring fungus that infects peanuts due to poor post-harvest handling.
For the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (CGEP), however, this challenge presented a unique opportunity – to transform the ailing peanut sector to improve profits for farmers while helping supply the Haitian market with high quality, cost-competitive peanuts.
In January 2014, CGEP created the Acceso Peanut Enterprise Corporation (Acceso - Haiti), which provides smallholder farmers with training and inputs on credit to improve their peanut yields and quality. Acceso - Haiti then purchases the peanuts at favorable, fixed prices and sells them to large buyers and the general market.
Nearly two years later, Acceso - Haiti has trained more than 3,600 farmers and purchased 500MT of peanuts from more than 2,300 farmers, providing them with a valuable and stable source of income.
One of these farmers is 76-year-old Sinous Chavre.
Before joining Acceso - Haiti’s program, Sinous struggled to secure the quality inputs and credit he needed for a successful harvest. Without a guaranteed income, he struggled to support his family.
But that all changed when staff from Acceso - Haiti visited Sinous’ town.
He quickly joined the program, and now Sinous has access to the inputs and training he needs to succeed. As a result of his participation, Sinous’ monthly income has increased by 40 percent, allowing him to not only provide food and basic job security for his family, but also pay for his children to go to school.
“Being part of Acceso means that I do not need to work another job or find an alternate source of income to support my family,” says Sinous. “My biggest dream is to always be able to provide for them. I wish for this program to continue so that more farmers can be helped to increase their incomes.”
Sinous is proof that even when one individual is given the opportunity to succeed, anything is possible.