Local Farmers Talk About Their Success

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Wilfen Jean-Pierre (far left) with farmers in the San Longue district

MFK’s communication fellow, Esther Chang, was able to interview Wilfen Jean-Pierre, a coordinator for CONACDED (National Committee for Sustainable Development), along with various local farmers to see how farming has recently changed in the area. Wilfen Jean-Pierre is the coordinator for the Ouanaminthe region, which is split into three communities Savane Longue, Savane ou Lait, and Gens de Nantes. His role is to organize regular meetings to help support the farmers in the region. When peanut farmers in the area were looking for technical support and supplies CONACDED contacted MFK for assistance and since then there has been a strong partnership. The farmers informed Esther that they are now practicing polyculture, a farming system in which multiple crops are grown in the same area in order to mimic natural ecosystems. The farmers are growing peanuts, cassava, beans and corn and have seen their yields double in the last year. This increase is due largely to their new rototillers, peanut storage depot and other farming tools provided by MFK.  The farmers also added that before MFK, in order to buy seeds in the beginning of the growing season they had to take out loans with a 25% interest rate. Now that MFK is able to assist in providing seeds while also increasing the demand for peanuts, the farmers have been able to spend their additional money on school fees, clothes, hospital bills and food.Screen Shot 2013-08-07 at 9.47.13 PMby: Elaine Jaworski