Helping Banana Farmers Replant
Peredo usually has an abundance of delicious bananas because of the many local farmers and the temperate climate. Not this year.
In and around Peredo, one of the most devastating aspects of the hurricane was the destruction of the banana plantations. And it’s not just because everyone loves bananas. Some farmers crops were untouched, but some were completely wiped out. An entire year’s worth of work – gone. Their family’s livelihood for the year – gone.
The growing season for bananas in Haiti is 9 – 12 months from planting the bulb until it bears fruit. Most farmers who lost their crops were only a few weeks away from harvesting the bananas that had finally matured.
One bundle of bananas would give a farmer $1,200 gourde, which is about $20 US. An entire crop produces a farming family’s income for a year.
In the days right after the hurricane, our focus was on providing relief – food kits full of rice, beans, oil, and matches. This is good. But as RoRo said, “We need to do something that will last.”
As we move into providing development assistance, HCO has purchased about 4,000 banana starts to help local farmers replant their crops. When one banana tree grows tall, each producers 3-4 baby starts that can be sold. We were able to purchase these starts from other banana farmers in Haiti – helping support other local farmers. In about 10 months, each farmer we have helped should be able to sell dozens of banana bundles.
Please be in prayer for these farmers as we try to meet their needs!