The SALT Agri-Plus program is helping farmers in developing countries find a way out of hunger. Agri-Plus staff in Haiti and Ghana walk alongside farmers, learn about their challenges, and work with them to discover better farming methods
Many people in these countries rely on a small patch of soil to provide food for their families. Their sustenance for the year hinges on their crops. But many struggle with poor yields, soil erosion, and crop failure. Even if their crops yield, they don’t have a good place to store their grain until they need it. Our goal is to help farmers find solutions to these problems so they can better provide for their families.
Food for difficult time between harvests
Nakol’s family was hungry most of the time from May to July. Sometimes the only thing they had to eat was a thin soup made of dried okra or chili peppers. Agri-Plus teaching on improved farming techniques and better storage methods has made a huge difference for Nakol and her family. Now they have food to carry them through this difficult time of the year between harvests.
An ox or a tractor?
Joseph wanted a way to plow his farmland but was unable to afford a tractor. If he could have acquired one, it would have been difficult and costly for him to maintain it in his cultural setting. Instead, Joseph decided to work toward buying oxen for plowing. He and his wife became members of a SALT savings group and started saving to buy an ox. SALT staff walked alongside them and encouraged them in their venture. “Today it is with joy that my wife and I have one ox,” said Joseph. “We want to thank SALT for this wonderful opportunity.”
Interestingly, agricultural research is showing that Africa’s arid soil structure is far better suited for shallow plowing with oxen or other animals as opposed to deep plowing with tractors. An ox is better in this setting and is also far more within reach than a costly tractor.
“It is a very real possibility that [SALT] is on track to break the chain of poverty here,” says one Ghanaian farmer. He, along with thousands of other farmers in Haiti and Ghana, are excited about the results they are seeing! They are discovering better ways to conserve their soil, their yields are increasing, and their families have food to eat.