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Haiti - Social : Sophia Martelly met with farmers in the South
27/03/2012 09:44:12

Haiti - Social : Sophia Martelly met with farmers in the South
Sophia Martelly, the First Lady of Haiti, completed last week, a tour of the Southern Department, especially in Camp-Perrin and Torbeck. The First Lady wanted, through various organizations and associations of peasants working in the field of food, industrial processing of local products and of the agriculture in general, listen the proposals of local organizations of farmer within the framework of program against hunger and malnutrition, "Aba grangou", at the level of these regions.

Accompanied by representatives of these organizations and ministries of agriculture and the environment, Sophia Martelly went firstly, to Gaïtan and Lévy, two communal sections of Camp Perrin, to discuss nutrition, vulnerability of the management systems of local products, production and machinery used in agriculture.

A Gaïtan, she visited a "cassaverie" and a treatment center and cassava processing, led since 1987 by the Organization of planters of Maillous, of Gaïtan and Trois Rac (OFMAGAT), then to Lévy, the organization ORE and finally the School Workshop of Camp Perrin, founded in 1968 by the Belgian Jean Sprumont, a training center of artisans and of manufacturing of agricultural machinery, a real answer to the demand of the rural world in term of agricultural production.

With 110 employees in its service, the Workshop-School of Camp-Perrin and its 35 sites across Haiti responds to a lack of animal-drawn plows. It has a solid machinery estimated at about $4 million for local production.

Subsequently, Sophia Martelly visited the Organization for the Rehabilitation of the Environment (ORE), a local NGO that specializes since 1985 in fruit farming,the reforestation from fruit trees and forest, the technology of storage of grain [about 250 tonnes of seed per year] and the drying of fruit, production of improved seeds, and varieties of fruit out of season, the establishment of irrigation systems for planting vegetables, export and sale of local products.

This tour of the South has also led the First Lady to Torbeck where she met leaders of the Action Group for Economic and Social Empowerment of Haitian Family (GRAFHES) around food at the local level, particularly through primary schools. Thus, the team visited two schools of Torbeck: the mixed institution of St. Paul and the National School St. Joseph to inquire of the distribution of food led by GRAFHES. She also talked to some students of the St. Joseph School, National, Cœur de Jésus, Episcopal St. Paul, Boisrond-Tonnerre, evangelical Baptist, around bio products constituted of melon, peas, eggplant and spinach, that they have developed and managed on plots of land in their environment.

The visit of Ms. Martelly in the shopping centre of local products of GRAFHES allowed her to understand the importance of local food production in the fight against malnutrition in Haiti, and see how the strategy of a thought community-based, focused on the development integrated of local people, can make more effective all steps, including those of "Aba Grandou", aimed at reducing or eliminating hunger in the Haitian family.

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