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9511: Re: 9503: Food production (fwd)

From: Martha O'Brien <mobfa1@mail.francis.edu>

One food production project which has met with some success is located in the Central Plateau, more specifically in the localities of Pandiasou and Te Kase.  This project has been conceived by Haitians and is administered by Haitians  with the support  of several international organizations:  Holy Name Parish in Ebensburg, PA, and, I believe,  the European Union have provided money and materials for the construction of a number of basins and lakes which serve for irrigation, watering livestock, and fish farming.  

The peasant collective in the area owns at least one gasoline-powered pump to pump water from the lakes to nearby fields, enabling people to irrigate their crops in the dry season.  Some families have been able to earn a tidy little sum from crops which they marketed in Hinche.  (There was an article posted on  Windows on Haiti about this project a couple of months ago.  The last time I looked, I couldn't find it, so perhaps it was temporary.) Several Cuban agronomists have been helping develop more productive methods of fish farming.  

There is a small slaughter house in Pandyasou and a butcher shop complete with walk-in coolers and a freezer or two, compliments of an International Rotary Club project--a co-operative venture between Rotary members in Cambria County, PA and a Haitian Rotary Club in the Port-au-Prince area.  People in the area can market their livestock and buy fresh or frozen meat and fish which comes from the local area and which is sold in a clean, pleasant environment.    

Most of these projects have been spear-headed by the Little Brothers and the Little Sisters of the Incarnation under the leadership of Brother Francklin Armand and Sister Emmanuelle Victor.  Part of what the orders have been able to do is to obtain clear title to the land around the lakes, so that families know that the land they are farming is not subject to being seized by absentee landlords who suddenly appear on the scene.

While there is still a great deal of poverty, indeed misery, in the area, the lot of many families in the area has been improved by what has been accomplished so far.  And there is a spirit of hope born of these accomplishments and those yet to come.

Martha O'Brien
Instructor of Music
Museum 14
Saint Francis University 
Loretto, PA 15940