Farmer Success Stories in Savane au Lait
One of MFK’s foremost goals in working with peanut farmers is teaching sustainable methods and good agricultural practices (GAPs) aimed at increasing yields and farm revenues for smallholders, which constitute the vast majority of peanut growers in the country. This is done by implementing six-month hands-on training programs twice a year, using the Farmer Field School methodology developed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. During these programs, groups of farmers have the chance to test traditional and improved planting methods, learn about soil conservation and crop management, and develop expertise in post-harvest drying and storage methods, among other tasks. When farmers put the principles taught in these training programs into practice, they experience increased yields and healthier peanut crops as a result. We would like to share some comments from four farmers and former participants in MFK extension programs who have since been able to apply the principles they learned in the training sessions. These farmers are from the community of Prévoyance, which is part of the Savane au Lait section of Ouanaminthe, Haiti.
- Antoine Diomaître participated in MFK’s extension program two years ago and said that he can still remember well the things he learned during the program. He said it was very helpful to learn about the best methods for
planting, crop maintenance, harvesting, and drying and storage for his peanuts. An exciting development for Diomaître is that last year, Acceso met with him and other farmers who were part of former MFK extension groups, inviting them to plant peanuts for their organization. Since he has started planting Acceso peanuts, including the Georgia-06G variety originally imported by PMIL and MFK, his yields have grown substantially—so much so that he was able to purchase a cow this year with money from his family’s increased farm revenue. Diomaître said he is happy that organizations like MFK and Acceso have decided to work with peanut farmers in the area, collaborating with them to increase production and farmer well-being.
- Macius François is a young farmer who has participated in many MFK training sessions over the past couple of years. He feels that the techniques taught in the extension program have helped him to increase the
profitability of his peanut fields in a measureable way. Macius is also happy that MFK has helped him become aware of aflatoxins and the issues that they pose to human and animal health when they are not controlled for. When asked about any benefits he has seen from attending the farmer trainings, Macius said “With higher yields, I am able to make more money when selling my peanuts…I have been able to buy a cow, a motorcycle, build a house, and send my children to school. My peanut fields are like my personal bank account!”
- Edouard Felix has participated in the MFK extension program within the last year. He appreciates the program because following the principles he learns there has helped
him to have bigger, more bountiful harvests than he did before. This is done with Local Runner, which is the variety Edouard prefers to plant.
- Norvilus François participated in the MFK extension program earlier this year. Because of the instruction he received, he changed from the traditional non-row planting method to planting in rows after learning this technique from the MFK agronomists. Through his contact with MFK, he was also able to learn about Acceso and start planting Acceso peanuts as well. This allowed him to increase the amount of seed he normally uses for planting from 40 to 50 kilograms and the amount of
peanuts harvested from 200 to 350 kilograms. He says that he was able to buy a new piece of land with the extra money he has been making from his peanut crop. Norvilus concluded by saying, “I hope MFK continues this program, because it is very beneficial for everyone in the community.”