Arcahaie / Agro-forest Nursery
“What is good about those who have come to help us,
is that they are in the trenches and fields with us….
the work is as much a part of them as it is for ourselves.”
The Digue Matheux nursery is one of the proposed 10 regional nurseries by the Agro-forest Regional Nurseries (ARN) Foundation of Haiti. Perimeter fencing began in the Spring of ’09, along with the first of seven ‘holding ‘ terraces. By mid-summer ’09, the Digue Matheux nursery had established itself as one of the primary Public-Private Alliances within the USAID/DEED Montrouis Watershed project.The nursery is strategically located at the southern edge of the Montrouis Watershed, within the Arcahaie governing jurisdiction. It consists of approximately 3.5 hectares of non-agronomic land at 486’ elevation. The nursery is positioned along the outer terrestry water canal within the AIPA Water District, a French engineered series of formed concrete canals along the Rivier Matheux. The irrigated area Digue Matheux is 1,795 hectares with more than 3,500 users. All 1,795 hectares are part of the irrigated 6,190 hectares of the Duvalier Ville-Arcahaie District.
The ARN Agro-forest nursery production goals are to:
- produce 1million seedlings per year;
- provide 50 direct jobs, 250 indirect jobs;
- train 30 farmers/entrepreneurs.
Within the context of the overall ARN Agro-forestry activities it is the ARN’s intention to provide Haitian farmers with a variety of income related tree stocks, based upon seasonal conditions, so as to have a means of economic support throughout the calendar year. Our seed/tree stocks center upon (4) tree categories, with each category representing 25% production:
- fruit/nut/leaf editables
- erosion control
New processing products and thus new job creations, which may evolve out of the (4) base crops categories are:
- editables; processing and marketing of products for local consumption and/or export . Of particular interest will be the on going research processing of Moringa oleifera and various varieties of breadfruit.
- energy; cold press extractions of pure processed oil (ppo) from Moringa oleifera and Jatropha curcas for direct use in lamps, stoves, generators, vehicles and feedstock for bio-diesel production.
- hardwoods; harvesting the mature woods for ‘precious’ lumber, construction grade timber, artisans grade stock, plywood fabrication, cellulose feedstock for ethanol production.
- charcoal; diversified local plantations within ‘marginal’ lands for the management of charcoal production so as to alleviate the need to continue the un-sustainable present de-forestation practices.
- Soil erosion; the training of ‘living fences’ and ‘alley farming’ techniques will allow for multi-croping revenue opportunities and assist with the on going watershed management initiatives of the ARN Foundation of Haiti.
In order for the Haitians to reap the full benefit of the proposed nursery plantations and to be gainfully employed in various nursery related agriculture production, post-production marketing and processing sectors, a skilled workforce is highly essential. As part of the Digue Matheux Agro-forest nursery project we are implementing a number of educational and training activities and workshops.Our ultimate goal of this educational project is to provide training in ecologically sustainable agriculture and perimculture, generating jobs for 300 Haitians.