Building a Legacy | Agriculture in Haiti & Abaco
Agriculture is vital in addressing the food security challenges in countries like Haiti and Abaco. With millions of people facing undernourishment and malnutrition, sustainable farming practices and agricultural education are essential for creating secure and self-sufficient food systems. Part of Many Hands’ Love in Action approach is to provide solutions for these issues.
Access to nutritious food is a significant concern in Haiti and Abaco. According to the World Food Programme (W.F.P.), millions of people in these regions face undernourishment and chronic malnutrition. The prevalence of food insecurity highlights the urgency to address these challenges through sustainable agriculture.
Many Hands is dedicated to providing farming resources and creating scalable solutions for food insecurity. We work closely with local farmers to implement practices that meet the community’s needs.
The Bahamas has a significant problem with food insecurity. Over 90% of The Bahamas’ food is imported. Only 3.2% of jobs are in the agriculture sector. During the COVID-19 lockdowns, The Bahamas had less than three days of food in the country. Food prices are expensive, with higher-than-average purchases going towards food costs for families. With little arable land, a lack of agricultural knowledge in the general population, and the potential of devasting hurricanes, many challenges in the agricultural sector exist.
In Abaco, we are building programs and partnerships focused on food production, agriculture training, and school-based programs to expand access to fresh, locally-grown produce. Through hydroponics farming, we aim to overcome the limitations of arable land and increase resilience against hurricanes. We will provide various training, including backyard farming, hydroponics, and raised garden bed farming, to enhance agriculture knowledge in the community. By partnering with organizations and the local government, we bring subject matter experts to those eager to learn. Additionally, we collaborate with primary and secondary schools to establish school gardens, providing tools, seeds, and supplies. Our efforts will result in twelve shadehouse greenhouses, a 30% increase in food production among our partners, and hydroponic training for families.
Haiti has its own unique challenges in agriculture. With one of the world’s highest levels of food insecurity, nearly half the population does not have enough to eat, and 1.3 million are highly food insecure. Haiti has a heavy dependence on food imports, which has led to a decline in the agricultural sector. In its current state, Haiti cannot sustain itself.
Our approach in Haiti focuses on equipping those in our programs with the tools needed to provide food for themselves and their families. These programs focus on food production and distribution, training through goat ownership, school and community gardens, and raised garden beds that make agriculture accessible for all.
Local food production ensures food security and breaks Haiti’s poverty cycle. Many Hands employs trained farmers to grow crops sustainably on their campuses, providing more than 1,600,000 meals annually. The Agronomy Technical School teaches local farmers best practices, diversifying their skills and increasing crop yields. Through the Husbandry Economic Project (H.E.P.), families learn to breed and manage their goat herds, selling livestock back to Many Hands to feed children in their programs. Profits are matched and placed into an education fund.
Many Hands also partners with organizations like Meals from the Heartland and Convoy of Hope to distribute meals while supporting caregivers through community gardens and disabled individuals through raised garden beds. These initiatives empower families.
By focusing on agriculture, we aim to create sustainable income opportunities for families to address the food security challenge. Empowering local farmers, these organizations are creating long-term solutions that address immediate food needs, enhance livelihoods, and build resilient communities.
You can join us in this initiative by donating the gift of agriculture support through our Give Joy catalog. You can train farmers and feed families through a donation, leaving a legacy of hope through agriculture.