Agronomy Programs

  • Cacao and Reforestation – Etienne is running an exciting program with global implications. Establishing a cacao industry in southwest Haiti will both grow new forests, provide a significant source of income for thousands of Haitian families, and help alleviate the predicted chocolate shortage. Coffee has been a major cash crop in Haiti, but with the arrival of the coffee berry borer beetle in the Caribbean islands and the droughts that have accompanied climate change, that industry is rapidly waning. Cacao plants are better suited to the new weather conditions, and the time is right: the worldwide demand for chocolate is increasing faster than production, while at the same time the locations in which most cacao is grown today will become unsuitable for cacao plants over the next several decades.
  • Crops – Etienne and his employees bring crop knowledge, high-quality seeds, and assistance in marketing their produce to farmers. Besides increased incomes, people are healthier because of the introduction of food crops with better nutritional value and higher yields than the limited range of plants previously available in the area. As part of Hurricane Matthew recovery and rebuilding, Etienne, with his agents, interns, and volunteers, transformed most of the 5 acres of land surrounding the Les Anglais Baptist church into a lush vegetable garden to feed the hungry, teach the community, and raise money by selling the surplus.
  • Kids for Kidz Goat Program – Young goats are provided to children, along with training in their care. With the help of their families, these girls and boys raise the baby goats to provide milk, wool, offspring (more baby goats), and meat for family use and to sell for income. In many cases, the income is used to pay for school, as there is no free public education in Haiti. Each child is required to give their goats’ first baby back to the program so it can be given to another child to raise. We are still raising money for more goats, as there are many families hoping to join the program. Female goats are $65 and the males are $265 apiece. (the males are a special breed selected by Etienne to improve the bloodlines of future offspring.)
  • Internships – Etienne collaborates with American University in Les Cayes, developing and teaching agronomy and veterinary courses. Each year he trains a group of interns, including taking them into the field to work on a variety of projects. Compassion for Haiti contributes funds for transporting, feeding, and housing these unpaid interns while they are deployed.