Peanut farmers partnering with the iF Foundation recently gathered to discuss their outcomes, challenges and long-term goals for participation in the iF Agricultural Program. The farmers all agree that the main benefits of working with iF include collaboration and training. They are able to work together on land preparation and at harvest. One farmer shared with the group that before working with iF he thought his life was over. Now he feels like he has hope. He actually bought a cow for the first time in his life. He knows that his harvest will be sold at market for a fair price and now he can actually plan for the future. Peanuts are just one of 8 crops that the iF Foundation is producing through the Agricultural Program in partnership with local farmers. Peanut farmers in the area have been through 2 successful cycles; harvesting their crops and selling at market for a fair price. In addition to earning a small income, the farmers have been able to pay back their no interest farm credit loan to iF demonstrating a positive outcome with this group of farmers
The Haitian Pride Breakfast Program is the iF Foundation’s philanthropic outreach program to the communities we serve in northern Haiti. The program, operating at full capacity, serves breakfast to children at seven primary schools in the area where we have community partnerships. The program operates five days a week at St. Joseph’s, Immaculee, Baptiste Bordes, Christ Roi, Christ-Vivant, Ebenezer and Holy Cross schools, serving a nutritious breakfast to 1,510 elementary school children. This totals 271,800 breakfasts during the course of a school year for children who would otherwise start their day without a nutritious meal.
The iF Foundation’s Technical Center, located in Coronel, is fully functional and the hub of activity for this rural farming community in northern Haiti. The Center serves as the base for the organization’s operations and the center of all collaboration. The work being accomplished is having a direct impact on local farmers through economic development and vital research. Current economic programming includes a newly implemented farm credit program, a field extension program (iF has two agronomists and four agricultural technicians on staff), a nursery which is producing high value fruit trees and sigatoka-resistant plantains, a compost facility specializing in hot compost and vermiculture, an operational lab to study soil macronutrients, seed germination and aflatoxins, and on-going technical training for the farmer beneficiaries.
Research is an important component of the iF Foundation’s agricultural program in the Dubre-Coronel-Grison Garde corridor. Current research initiatives include; improved tilling and planting, Djon-djon cultivation, SRI rice (in collaboration with Cornell University), rice mill - optimizing post-harvest processes and milling, high-oleic peanut (in collaboration with Cornell University and Meds and Food for Kids), meteorology ( iF has three weather stations on the ground), yams using mini-setting and variety selection, poultry feed (QPM/moringa to lower production costs) and Soil Fertility Mapping (with USDA NCRS).