19 Aug Engagement with local people, the key to humanitarian aid
Engagement and close communication with local authorities is critical for the success of any project. This is why Alianza has been an active member of the table agricole or agricultural roundtable.
The agricultural roundtable is held once a month in Jacmel at the headquarters of the Department of Agriculture of the South East Department. It is a forum where local and international NGOs can exchange their views, analysis, and report on existing or upcoming projects. This helps to avoid duplication of activities and also serves to take account of the resources currently available to the agricultural sector. Also, such an inventory is especially useful in responding to natural disasters such as hurricanes and drought as it allows for greater coordination.
The agricultural roundtable also engages local students and farmers in its activities and this engagement takes a variety of forms. It has included workshops and presentations by the local university, to subsidizing the exchange of farmers from far ends of the department to meet and exchanges ideas and techniques. In addition, the agricultural roundtable is responsible for organizing the Agricultural Fair of the South-East.
In this annual event, farmers from Anse-à-Pitres in the east to Côtes-de-Fer in the west make the long journey to Jacmel to display their products and emphasize the importance of agriculture to the Haitian economy. Walking through the fair one can find regional food, coffee, citrus and a wide variety of plants and medicinal herbs. Locating the fair at the center of Jacmel along its beautiful seaside promenade also exposes the richness of the Haitian agricultural sector to both local and international tourists.
The work of Alianza alongside other members of the agricultural roundtable has and will continue to support local authorities in their efforts to support local farmers, students and NGOs working to improve Haiti’s agricultural sector.