Last week, MFK had the honor of participating in a peanut production training in Limbe, Haiti, hosted by the Georgia-based non-profit League of Hope. Dr. Bob Kemerait and Dr. Tim Brenneman from the University of Georgia, both experts in peanut pathology, offered great insights and suggestions on improving peanut yields and post-harvest storage, as well as on reducing disease and aflatoxin contamination. Drs. Kemerait and Brenneman have worked with MFK for four years through the USAID Peanut CRSP program to help peanut farmers in the region, and thus have an extensive understanding of local challenges for peanut farmers.
Part of the training involved site visits to two of MFK’s nearby peanut plots, organized by MFK’s agronomist Jamie Rhoads. Jamie provided demonstrations of aflatoxin testing, which can be conducted in the field to improve monitoring of contamination. He also showed participants the hand-tractors used in MFK’s agricultural program. Using these tractors have resulted in a 75% decrease in soil preparation costs compared to manual labor, correlating to an increase of profitability of $645 per average production area per harvest compared to $113 using traditional methods.
We are very grateful for being given the opportunity to participate in this training, and we thank Drs. Kemerait and Brenneman for sharing their knowledge.
Dr. Bob Kemerait demonstrating how to use a peanut maturity chart to determine the optimal time for harvesting peanuts.
Visiting MFK's peanut plots.
Lastly, the latest look at the factory interior, taken on June 20, 2012. Thank you to all of our contributors for your support thus far!