Sunday, May 17, 2009

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.


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