The Green House Revolution
Vertical and protected agriculture is a technological innovation that enables farmers to plant on smaller plots, obtaining much larger yields per square meter. Each greenhouse is about 70m2, and uses vertically aligned pots. The greenhouses use a drip irrigation system, thereby saving on water and fertilizer. More than 600 farmers have taken part in training sessions on greenhouse building techniques, which means they are now able to construct and supervise all the greenhouses being built in the commune of Kenscoff.
The Greenhouse Revolution
- 300 greenhouses measuring 70m2 being built by farmers (in Kenscoff and Matheux)
- Cost: $2,000 per greenhouse with drip irrigation and water tank
- Construction: 2 days (team of 6 people)
- Annual net income per greenhouse: ranges from $1,500 to $3,000 (vegetables, flowers)
Greenhouses and Reforestation
- Every member of an association that receives a greenhouse must plant 50 trees per year
- Transplantation must take place on hills that have steep slopes and no vegetation
- Strict application of laws and regulations (Rural Code of 1962 and the Legislative Decree of July 1987).
Advantages of Vertical and Protected Agriculture
- Permanent and controlled production
- Plants are less exposed to pests
- The growing cycle is shorter
- On 70m2, farmers manage to obtain yields equivalent to those they would normally get from one hectare of land. In addition, they can harvest 100% of what they plant.
- Net annual revenues are at least $20/m2
- Modern technique fully mastered by farmers
Prospects for the future
- Vertical and protected agriculture is accessible to Haitian farmers, enabling them to quickly respond to the demand for vegetables and flowers (reducing imports) and to start exporting again
- Greenhouses are becoming steadily cheaper
- Several greenhouse models made from local materials, such as bamboo, are being demonstrated at the Kenskoff CRDD
- FTF West/WINNER expects to support or fund the construction of about 1000 greenhouses before the project ends in 2014 (70,000 m2)
- The environmental impact is very favorable and will help reforestation efforts
- FTF West/WINNER is working on partnerships with financial institutions to help the transition and promote greenhouse development.