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Girls with mustards in HaitiSPI has several partnerships in Haiti including ongoing work with Ayiti KonseVet (AKV) – roughly translated as “Keep Haiti Green.” Wherever possible, SPI values project leadership coming from local experts. People on the ground in developing countries are in the position best understand their culture, growing conditions, and even political/economic factors which can impact the success of vegetable gardening programs. One of those experts is AKV’s Wedly Deceus. The following report is from Wedly:

“Cooperation is essential to daily human life and crucial to a developing society such as Haiti. Here we want to present an example of a successful cooperative effort, between SPI / Seed  Programs International and AKV / AyitiKonseVet.

During 2014, AKV received vegetable seeds for school and home garden plantings as well as funds to expand both, with the purchase of garden tools for home gardeners without any. An additional 30 families were given sets of tools and instruction in better ways to plant fertilize cultivate and harvest. Families in Po Mago, Mena, Kayes, Okap and Karakol received the tools.

The greatest success of home gardens plantings was in Mena, located in the district of Plezans, North department. Every participant was very satisfied and content with the resulting produce .This was the first time many of them owned the needed tools to put in a garden; sometimes one tool owned by one family would be shared by the entire village. Now, thanks to SPI, each family has their own tools.

Pac Choi grew well in Mena and was eaten with pleasure. It was ready to harvest in 8 – 15 days and gardeners often picked it at that early stage because they were so eager to have something else to eat besides rice, yams, or potatoes.

Konpe Seide is one gardener who is known for his energy and hard work and plantings of plantains, yams, potatoes, rice and corn – but until now, no green vegetables. Now he has both, to eat with his family and to sell.”

Not every gardening effort is a success. Wedly also reports:

“In the Kayes school garden hardly any seeds germinated. The two school garden monitors in the Kayes schools said those plants which did germinate, did poorly. Yet, interestingly, gardens grown from the same seed shipment just a few kilometers away in Karakol, did very well.”

SPI is committed to ongoing evaluation and learning, in attempting to continually improve the seeds and support we offer our partners.