COMMITMENT TO ACTION

Smallholder Farmers Planting 25M Trees in Haiti

Commitment by Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA)

In 2020, Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA) and The Timberland Company committed to plant 25 million trees in Haiti over the next five years while expanding their social enterprise model to support an additional 12K smallholder farmers. Deforestation, food insecurity, gender inequality, and poverty are intrinsically connected and self-reinforcing in Haiti, with the country’s large smallholder farming population being the common denominator. This situation is further exacerbated for the 40 percent of women farmers who have less access to agricultural resources and training than their male counterparts. SFA will open 70 tree nurseries in 13 new locations across Haiti where farmers will grow, transplant, and maintain trees. This work will earn them credits that they can exchange for agricultural inputs and services such as tools, agricultural training, access to seed banks, and more. Also, SFA will provide 7,700 micro-loans between $100 and $550 to 2,500 women farmers. Overall, this commitment will increase farmer resilience, combat climate change, improve food security, and contribute to gender equality.



Overview
Summary

Commitment

Smallholder Farmers Planting 25M Trees in Haiti

Launched

2020

Est. Duration

5 Years

Estimated Total Value

$2,500,000

Region

Latin America & Caribbean

Countries

HAITI

Commitment by

Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA)

Partner(s) of the Commitment Maker(s)

Raising Haiti Foundation; St. Mary's
Details

The Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA) and Timberland commit to planting 25 million trees in Haiti over the next five years while expanding their social enterprise model to support an additional 12,000 farmers. This program will incentivize the planting of trees among smallholder farmers by implementing a “tree currency” through which farmers will access agricultural inputs and services to improve their overall work, including access to micro-loans specifically for women. Overall, this commitment will combat climate change and improve food security through the planting of trees, increase farmer resilience by providing access to agriculture input and services, and contribute to gender equality by earmarking access to capital for women farmers.

In order to plant 25,000,000 trees, SFA will add 70 new tree nurseries to the existing 30 and add 13 new locations to the existing seven in Haiti where farmers will plant and grow trees. Twenty agronomists will be hired to oversee all 100 nurseries, where they will partner with volunteer committees to oversee the provision of agricultural services and training on tree planting, care, and maintenance.

The nurseries will also facilitate the exchange of “tree currency,” through which farmers will be able to use they credits they have earned through tree planting to access agricultural inputs and services, including seed, tools, agricultural training, livestock, and micro-loans for women farmers.

Lastly, the program aims to empower women farmers through access to capital. Specifically, the microloan program for women will be expanded from to 10 locations and will provide 7,700 micro-loans between $100 and $550 to about 2,500 women farmers in those areas. To facilitate the administration of these loans, each local loan program will have two full-time staff.

SFA and partners will utilize a new data app to track, measure, and verify the environmental and social impact of agroforestry activities throughout this commitment. This commitment will increase SFA full-time staff by 10, at least four of whom will be women. A twice-yearly report on gender hires will be generated by the SFA and used to monitor compliance with this goal.

Please note total values in each yearly breakdown are not cumulative.

2020
Open 2 new tree nurseries to bring total to 32
Plant 930,000 trees
Engage and provide agricultural services including training, seed, tools, etc. to 8,000 farmers
Open micro-loan program at 2 new locations to bring total to 3
Provide 400 loans to women farmers

2021
Open 11 new tree nurseries
Plant 1,300,000 trees
Engage and provide agricultural services including training, seed, tools, etc. to 10,000 farmers
Open micro-loan program at 3 new locations
Provide 900 loans to women farmers

2022
Open 17 new tree nurseries
Plant 3,420,000 trees
Engage and provide agricultural services including training, seed, tools, etc. to 10,000 farmers
Open micro-loan program at 1 new location
Provide 1,300 loans to women farmers

2023
Open 10 new tree nurseries
Plant 4,400,000 trees
Engage and provide agricultural services including training, seed, tools, etc. to 14,000 farmers
Open micro-loan program at 1 new location
Provide 1,500 loans to women farmers

2024
Open 15 new tree nurseries
Plant 5,600,000 trees
Engage and provide agricultural services including training, seed, tools, etc. to 16,000 farmers
Open micro-loan program at 2 new locations
Provide 1,700 loans to women farmers

2025
Open 25 new tree nurseries
Plant 9,450,000 trees
Engage and provide agricultural services including training, seed, tools, etc. to 18,000 farmers
Open micro-loan program at 1 new location
Provide 1,900 loans to women farmers

Background

Deforestation, food insecurity, gender inequality, and poverty are intrinsically connected and self-reinforcing in Haiti, with the country’s large smallholder farming population being the common denominator. Farmers suffer from deforestation because the lack of trees on slopes results in flooding and soil loss on their fields. Deforestation has also contributed to a measurable rise in average temperatures and the disruption of once-stable seasonal rainy seasons. These conditions are all factors that lower crop yields and incomes for farmers who are already challenged by the lack of access to good quality seed, financial tools, and the most basic form of agricultural training.

Smallholder farmers turn to cutting trees and making charcoal to supplement their low incomes. The World Bank estimates wood-based fuels account for 16.1% of average rural income, and they note that any attempt to move away from charcoal for fuel must include a way to improve smallholder farmer incomes.

This situation is further exacerbated because the 40 percent of Haitian farmers who are women have even less access to agricultural resources and training than their male counterparts, further lowering yields and income. When women farmers gain equal access to resources, research by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) shows a 20 to 30% increase in overall crop yields. The reason they are held back in Haiti is that men traditionally are given near exclusive access to these resources. Men typically control farm finances, represent the family farm as members of farmers associations, and are usually the only ones to receive agricultural training. Given that women farmers represent nearly half of the largest segment of Haiti’s working population, achieving gender equality in the share of agricultural resources would be a major contribution to improving the country’s rural economy.

To support Haitian farmers, Smallholder Farmer’s Alliance (SFA) has implemented a social business model that turns planting trees into a form of currency to finance smallholder farm improvements in Haiti. Every tree grown, transplanted and looked after by a smallholder farmer member of the SFA earns farm credits they can exchange for crop seeds, tools and agricultural training. Trees have become a form
of currency to improve agriculture, with crop yields going up an average of 40% and household income by 50 to 100%.

Partnership Opportunities

The SFA seeks existing organizations that can become partners to expand the capacity of smallholder farmers to plant more trees. The SFA, through an annual grant provided by Timberland, will offer small grants to other organizations as needed in order to expand their current involvement in tree planting with smallholder farmers in Haiti. SFA can also provide best practices on tree planting, maintenance, and other agricultural services such as how farmers can access seed, livestock, and more.

Progress Reports