Sunday, May 17, 2009

Five Reasons Why You Should Consider Donating to TractorShare

Photo taken and provided by M Eriksson, "Sisters in Les Cayes"

Why should you consider TractorShare for your donation over all of the other nonprofits? Certainly, there are many nonprofits that are doing important work in the fields of development, distribution of food, and poverty relief. We commend their efforts in providing these critical services. We do believe, however, that TractorShare is unique in our mission and our approach because:

1. We focus on empowerment - local community leaders know what their needs are.TractorShare focuses on agricultural empowerment. We believe that we can support agricultural communities in improving their production, but not by telling them what crops to raise, when to plant, or where to sell. Our trust remains with the local community.

2. Our approach provides immediate AND long-term relief.One tractor can support up to twenty farming families for over ten years. While the improvement in production may increase over five-fold in the first year alone, imagine the impact that a tractor can have on those families, on the community, when it is working for over ten years! It means ending the cycle of subsistence farming. It means that children who previously had to work the fields can now go to school. And it means that land that was eroding and dying is now becoming productive.

3. 100% of your donation goes to direct relief - purchasing agricultural equipment, logistics support, and technical training - 100%Our dedicated staff works without a salary. We have no swanky office building. If you donate to TractorShare, you know what your funds are being used for. TractorShare is dedicated to being good stewards of your donated funds.

4. TractorShare enables a partnership between the community and the local population.If you are a farmer in Limbe, Haiti, and you need the use of a tractor, who do you go to? The Fire Service. That's because the Fire Service secures, maintains, and drives the TractorShare equipment. They ensure fair use, and also serve as a community aid for technical support. The people making the difference, in this example, are Haitians helping Haitians...and we think that's just what it should be.

5. TractorShare assets do more than raise crops.Don't get us wrong, improving the productivity of farmers in developing countries is at the core of our mission. Many developing countries lack the tools and technical support to feed their own people, and we believe that tractors can alleviate those challenges. Tractors, however, can do so much more for the entire community. They can provide emergency power to a local hospital. They can maintain critical fresh water irrigation systems. They can drill for fresh water that supports the entire community. They can clear roads. And they can be on the scene after natural disaster such as mud slides or hurricanes. We can have TractorShare assets in place, where they are needed most, whatever the situation on the ground.

Won't you help? Please Donate Now!


TractorShare Acquires Tractor for Limbe, Haiti

TractorShare President/CEO Ron Buikema (L) accepts delivery of a 33 HP Belarus 250Atractor in like-new condition from Dr. James Roberts (R). Dr. Roberts serves as TractorShare's Senior Technical Advisor.

TractorShare has completed acquisiton and acceptance testing of a 33 HP Belarus 250A tractor, destined for service in Limbe, Haiti. Limbe is located in Northern Haiti beween the major cities of Cap-Haitien and Gonaives. The tractor will be managed by the Limbe Fire Department, who will have responsibility for routine maintenance, training on the use and safety of the farm equipment, and for ensuring that the local farming community has easy access to the tractor and associated farm implements. TractorShare estimates that this one tractor can improve the production and management of at least twenty farming families, plus providing support to the fire department in such areas as road management and irrigation canal maintenance. This tractor will in fact benefit the quality of life for the entire community!


The TractorShare Concept of Support

TractorShare's concept of support is unique. Our main effort centers on empowering farmers and agricultural communities in developing countries in order to improve their productivity. By improving their productivity, the community increasingly can support their own food needs, sell the excess food for profit, support development within the community, and provide a stable environment for all. We partner with the agricultural community, identifying their emerging needs and providing the tools that support immediate needs as well as long-term development. We believe that local farmers know how to farm and work the land, and that we need to listen to them. We also believe that working with the land and improving productivity can serve as the catalyst for economic development, improvements to infrastructure, and community stabilization...a bottoms-up approach, one community at a time, one farm at a time.


TractorShare Mission

TractorShare is dedicated to empowering farmers and rural communities in developing nations by lending the tools and providing the know-how to build a secure, sustainable, and healthy society.


Green Farming Initiatives

Haitian farmers face many challenges - a lack of access to farm machinery, limited arable land (exacerbated by continued soil erosion and deforestation), terrain that is more mountanous than Switzerland, and an inadequate agricultural support infrastructure.TractorShare supports the growth of the agricultural infrastructure from the grassroots level, starting with farming cooperatives and rural communities.Green Farming initiatives can actually improve productivity while sustaining the land. We can protect topsoil by encouraging no-till farming while providing training on effective land management; partner with farmers for the planting of harvest trees (coffee, mango, and avocado) in barren areas not considered suitable for traditional farming (cash crop trees discourage cutting because they represent several years of potential revenue to the farmer); and improve water management by maintaining and upgrading the existing irrigation infrastructure. These three areas alone - protecting topsoil, planting trees, and effectively managing water resources - will have an immediate impact on the productivity of farmers while also protecting Haiti's valuable land resources.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Urgent Focus: Haiti

Urgent Focus: Haiti
The Haitian people are suffering from a severe food crisis made even worse by widespread destruction from an unrelenting hurricane season. Numerous towns and cities have been devastated. Farmland and crops have been largely wiped out. In response to the ongoing tragedy, TractorShare is organizing a long-term program to help Haitian farmers clear fields, construct drainage, and replant crops. Our training and agricultural support programs will focus on both near-term relief as well as long-term development.


TractorShare VP Visits Haiti, Observes Farming Operations in Limbe Valley

Just returned from Limbe this week (April 6) and saw a remarkable number of small fields under cultivation--all by hand. The valley is extremely verdant with lots of water and fertile soil but not nearly as productive as it could be with a tractor. I took some photos of the fields that show the current situation. Watch for dramatic changes by early next year. Haiti, at least this part of Haiti, has everything to be an agricultural success except mechanization that has revolutionized agricultural production and sustainable food production in so many other places. Amities,Ben