THE HAITI PROJECT (LAVIAL) IN SHORT
Launch date: 2018
Species planted: cashew trees
Objectives: development of food security and improvement of local populations' incomes
Type of plantation: agroforestry
Activities: management of nurseries, planting, harvesting, creation of a sustainable trade sector
Partners and associated organizations: OJUCAH
Haiti is now one of the most deforested countries in the world. In 1920, 60% of Haitian territory was covered with forests, compared to only 2% today. The massive loss of forest cover is mainly due to the production of charcoal, which is the main source of energy for the population. Deforestation leads to soil erosion, reduced productivity of arable land, increased droughts and desertification of territories. The dramatic passage of Hurricane Matthew in October 2016 also destroyed a huge part of the remaining standing trees.
The Lamontagne de Jacmel section, located in the southeast department of Haiti, is facing serious erosion and advanced soil degradation due to deforestation by local populations to meet their energy needs, to generate some resources from the sale of coal and to open up new agricultural areas.
OUR ACTION IN THE FIELD
Reforest'Action, in partnership with the OJUCAH association, is developing a family agroforestry activity that consists of planting cashew trees for subsistence consumption and sale on local markets. The planted cashew trees will enrich a multitude of species already planted on the spot (mango trees, acerolas, avocados...) The Lavial project thus makes it possible to contribute both to household food security and to improving their incomes.
Our technical partner
The OJUCAH association is an apolitical, non-profit, non-denominational association bringing together young people without distinction of gender, ethnic group, creed or social affiliation of the different Lavial communities. They met around the need to facilitate the moral and physical development of the area. The organization was founded in 1998 in the Haitian town of Carrefour, which explains its name. It now operates around La Vallée and Lavial and has a staff of approximately 1,200 active members spread throughout the various rural sections of the Lavial community. It is recognized as a public utility and registered with the Ministry of Social Affairs.
Production of seedlings in a local nursery dedicated to the project
A local nursery, built in September 2018, is used to produce the seedlings. The activities carried out in this nursery concern the preparation of tree beds, filling of bags, sowing, transplanting, maintenance (watering, weeding), fertilization and monitoring. These activities will last between 4 and 5 months between April and August. The OJUCAH team carries out these activities by recruiting temporary staff locally on a task-based basis. Six nurserymen are assigned to the project nursery. Plantation will take place from 4 months after sowing the seeds and will ideally coincide with the beginning of the rainy season.
Planting of 300,000 cashew trees in and around farmers' fields
Cashew trees are planted in agroforestry in private plots. For each parcel concerned, a specific agreement is established between OJUCAH and the owners in order to involve them in the sustainable protection of the plantations. The trees are planted directly by OJUCAH and will not be sold to the owners.
Monitoring and maintenance of planted trees
To ensure the sustainability of the project and the benefits provided to local communities, a monitoring and evaluation committee, composed of forest technicians and programme facilitators, exists within the OJUCAH organization and is responsible for ensuring that families maintain the planted trees. OJUCAH undertakes to carry out a plantation count 6 months after planting and another 6 months later in order to evaluate the survival rates obtained.
Involvement and training of the project's beneficiary communities
The exploitation of cashew nuts from cashew trees will benefit their owners in return for the maintenance of the trees. Local communities will thus be strongly involved in the project. Continuous training of beneficiary families will be organized to introduce them to agroforestry and promote the sustainable value of the tree. Some members of the community, federated by OJUCAH, will be part of the commission or committee that will be responsible for the implementation and monitoring of the project. They will be selected on the basis of their involvement in previous OJUCAH projects and their experience in reforestation programmes.