“Two-fifths of all Haitians depend on the agricultural sector, mainly small-scale subsistence farming, which remains vulnerable to damage from frequent natural disasters. Poverty, corruption, vulnerability to natural disasters, and low levels of education for much of the population represent some of the most serious impediments to Haiti’s economic growth. Remittances are the primary source of foreign exchange, equivalent to more than one quarter of GDP, and nearly double the combined value of Haitian exports and foreign direct investment. [Haiti is] currently the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with close to 60% of the population living under the national poverty line…” – CIA World Factbook on Haiti
Agriculture is not the flashy, exciting part of development, but it just might be the most important, particularly when we consider that at least 40% of Haitians depend on subsistence farming for their food. My husband saw this when he was doing mission work with his parents in Africa and Honduras. His response was to go into International Agriculture Development and to serve as LiveBeyond’s Director of Agriculture.
Many Americans love the concept of farmer’s markets. And it’s a lot of fun to spend a weekend picking fruit and vegetables from a nearby vegetable stand, but most Americans still purchase the majority of their food from supermarkets. Gardening is a hobby, an enjoyable pastime. For most of us, it hasn’t been a serious source of family food security since World War II era victory gardens. We, as a civilization, are disconnected from agriculture because we can afford to be, myself included.
That’s why I love listening to David talk with his farm workers about the LiveBeyond farm during their weekly Skype conferences. It thrills me when team members start to share the vision after they have heard David give his speeches on how he developed the farm and how it will impact the community. So, for those of you who are interested in agriculture, this is what’s happening on the LiveBeyond farm.
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