28 Jan Adding Crops to Diversity by Gordon Clark, Board Member and Horticulture Advisor
The concept of crop diversity is gaining traction in US Farmers in the West, who have traditionally only grown wheat, corn or soybeans. Farmers have found that with the depressed prices, they need to grow crops as a hedge against bankruptcy.
Harvesting 4 Haiti, along with Planting for Hope and Future, understand this concept. In terms of perennial crops, Mangos (multiple varieties), Soursop, Plantain, Limes, Hibiscus and Moringa have been planted. Amongst the newly planted trees, vegetables. legumes, and green manure are thriving.
But this isn’t enough. PHF is looking at the potential of Breadfruit as a future crop. Breadfruit is a large, prickly fruit native to the South Pacific. When ripe, it tastes like fresh baked bread, hence the name. It is a good source of dietary fiber, iron, potassium, calcium and more. Though it is low in protein, it is vital for human health. It is also easily digested, so it is excellent for feeding children and people who are hospitalized.
The PHF team visited a bread fruit facility in Jeremie, Haiti. Trees That Feed Foundation is sponsoring this facility and it is processing breadfruit into flour that can be used for a variety of products. If PHF decides to partner with Trees That Feed, they will receive a “Factory in a Box” that includes a peeler, grinder, scale, drying racks and flour packaging materials. Breadfruit grows in abundance in nearby farms, but it is very perishable.
The value added processing will create jobs, promote income and create a product that is nutrias and in demand.