Haiti: Social infrastructures & capacity building for vetiver farmers
Supporting a cooperative of vetiver growers and their families.
Farmers across three villages in the region of Les Cayes, South Haiti have formed a cooperative for the cultivation of vetiver roots. More than 290 farmers benefit from price premiums and technical support through the cooperative, which also has a development fund for community projects that include, for instance, the repair of the road that serves the three villages and the electrification of the villages.
The Givaudan Foundation has supported the cooperative members and their families since 2014, covering the cooperative office rent and encouraging organisational improvements with the hiring of a manager. More recently, a project was initiated by a group of women and conducted with the support of the cooperative manager and funding from the Givaudan Foundation. It aims to improve access to drinking water and sanitation facilities for inhabitants of the area, as most of them do not have access to water at home. The newly built sanitation and hygiene facility with showers, toilets as well as a washing area for clothes was inaugurated in May 2018.
A drinking water kiosk was installed on the same premises, in partnership with the Swiss NGO Terre des homes Foundation. Purified water is sold at low prices to the community. The revenue from the water sales is used to ensure the maintenance of the water kiosk and sanitation facility.
The kiosk is being managed by the same group of women who initiated the project, and the profit from the water sales is used to ensure the maintenance of the water kiosk and sanitation facility over time.
Trainings were provided to villagers to raise awareness of all users about the importance of clean water and hygiene. Technical training on the maintenance of the purification system was also delivered to the group of women in charge.
“The new water and sanitation facility in my village is of great importance to me. In my community we have been waiting for a project like this for a long time.”
Judith, Faucault villager
More recently, an initiative about vegetable garening activities started. Indeed, Farming activity focused on a seasonal crop carries the risk of having slack months during which income is limited. This is the case for vetiver, a highly prized root in perfumery that is mostly harvested during the dry season in Haiti, between January and June. Lower household revenue during the off-season can lead to insufficient nutrition for farmer families. Vegetable gardening at household or village level is a way for families to increase their food autonomy. In addition, it allows for a more balanced nutritional intake during the year and helps generate additional income through the sale of the harvested vegetables.
A group of women in the vetiver producing communities of Massey, Faucault and Bazelais in South Haiti were trained in the cultivation of vegetable plants and composting. As part of the project, a plant nursery was established. From there, the group obtained seedlings, which they planted in their own fields. The group was mentored by a team of agronomists in caring for and harvesting the plants. They also received nutritional advice so they could make the best use of the benefits brought about by the fresh vegetables.
Thanks to the gardening project, I no longer have to buy my vegetables at the market. This season I managed to eat and sell a good amount of vegetables. I have already bought three hens and one rooster with the money from the sale.
Marie Eliane, beneficiary of the gardening project
Find out more about our health projects in communities where Givaudan sources natural ingredients: