When I look over the mountains where we work in Haiti, I see dots and lines. The dots are the farms where families are growing crops to make a living. The lines are the footpaths and dirt tracks that farmers take to get their crops to market.
Growing and selling are the heartbeats of a farm economy.... but its pulse is weak here and the families who depend on it are flagging. To gain strength they have to produce more sustainable cash crops, but they also have to sell more, which means getting those crops to the right market at the right time.
Problem is most families don't have a pack animal, let alone a truck, so they shoulder their goods and walk for hours. Or they hire a burro or pay to ride a truck. The time it takes or the money it costs steers them to the closest village market. Unfortunately, little markets in the hinterland are not good places to sell high value crops, like cashews or honey. Even if buyers are found, the price they'll pay will be only a fraction of the crops' worth. Farmers know they are losing out, but don’t have much of a choice.
That's about to change. We are currently setting up a service that will bring farmers' high value crops to a sales-distribution depot that we are building on the main highway that connects the cities of northern Haiti.
Cashews, pineapples, yams, eucalyptus, jatrofa, and other high earning crops will soon get the best price and the farmers who grew them will take more money home.
A stable increase in income is what puts families on a sustainable trajectory out of extreme poverty. It is simple economics applied with compassion. We are connecting the dots.
With best regards and gratitude for your concern,