Haiti’s Peasant Movement of Papaye are building solutions to food and water crises in Haiti’s embattled Central Plateau, and expanding agroecological farming methods.
The Peasant Movement of Papaye (MPP) is a Haitian farmers’ organization that has been working in the Central Plateau for more than 40 years. With a clear analysis of climate change and the consequences it brings for Haiti which is already environmentally devastated by deforestation, MPP works to recover the environment to a degree that peasant farmers can produce enough healthy food to feed the nation. In 1804 Haiti had 80% forest cover, in 1975 25%, and in 2015, 1.25%.
MPP is active in the protection of drainage basins, the struggle against erosion and deforestation, the technical coaching/instruction/teaching of peasant farmers, and agricultural production through its agroforestry program and in its overall agroecological work. MPP has played an active role in re-building after the earthquake by building eco-villages in which earthquake survivors live and grow their own food.
MPP is working in a context in which peasants are struggling with the third year of drought. In 2015 food production in the country was drastically reduced to 20% and many peasants have left the rural areas. There have been deaths from starvation and thirst. Low food production, combined with the plummeting of the Haitian Gourde against the dollar and the political crisis in Haiti, have made for a terribly precarious situation.
Still, last year MPP produced 50,800 trees, built and distributed solar lamps and 3 kinds of energy-efficient stoves, as well as charcoal made from agricultural waste instead of trees, built community shelters, created a new water source serving over 550 families, and conducted numerous trainings of youth, women, and men.
This year, the MPP plans to:
- Conduct a training for 30 women in agroecology and home gardening.
- Train 25 women and men in soil conservation techniques, so they can share their knowledge with others in their communities.
- Provide training on production techniques and fertilizer application with natural insectide for 25 small farmers.
- Provide training on production, seed selection and conservation for 30 people.
- Conduct four radio broadcasts on climate change to develop rural communities’ awareness of early planting methods that are adapted to climate change.
- Hold a conference with a climate change debate for 100 people.
- Produce 100,000 fruit and forest seedlings.
- Continue to develop alternative energy and solar panel production for electricity, including alternatives to charcoal for cooking.
- Continue to develop water sources through the construction of cisterns and wells.