Tell us about the social impact of your innovation. Please include both numbers and stories as evidence of this impact
A poster person for Kiskeya Aqua Ferme is Valder Labady. At 21 years of age, he is the farm manager. Two years ago he befriended other staff on the farm. He was just a student who was unable to continue school because his family was poor. Kiskeya Aqua Farm picked up his school fee, he moved on the farm and share the meals for the employees. He later demonstrated superb managerial quality and is very polyvalent, quick learner, trustworthy and was hired as the farm manager.He has received trainnig in diesel mechanic, truck driving and drive and repair the farm 10 wheeler Mack truck when needed. Valder's transformation is seen in the community that honesty, hard work is rewarded.
Mario used to go cut sugar cane in the Dominican Republic. For 2 years since he has found the job in the farm, he stopped going. He gets to live with his family in Leogane.
Rural wealth is measured by the amount of livestocks owned. Many of our employees have more cows and goats due to increase wealth.
As we are located in a rural area, we have made a commitment to hire 85% of our workers from the surrounding areas. We have already paid over $60,000 U.S. in income during the construction phase to workers and have hired over fifty residents to work on the farm. The rural family has an average of 6-8 children. Potentially over four hundred people have benefited so far. We have seven permanent staffseveral temporary staff and consultants. As we have constructed our fish farm, and with the expansion of our piggery, we have added more staff. Due to our job creation in rural Haiti, we are reducing migration to Port-au-Prince. We are also empowering local women by giving them an opportunity to start a small business through micro-credit. We have contributed to the local economy of Leogane as we purchase most of our material in that city. We are contributing to the betterment of the environment by reducing pressure through our promotion of organic farming method, use of sugar cane biogases to make charcoal and the use of biogas for cooking as an alternative to wood cutting. Lastly, we have also established a market that absorbs excess fruits and vegetables that we use as animal feed that would otherwise be wasted. Petite-Riviere also benefits because the investors will also allocate a portion of their return to support education, women empowerment, and youth programs.
Every year the Haitian Diaspora sends $1.6 billion to Haiti. This money usually returns to the country of origin as many of the food and items purchased are imported. The success of Kiskeya Aqua Ferme will indicate that money sent to Haiti can stay and develop communities as money sent by expatriates would purchase food produce locally and support the local economy.
Problem: Describe the primary problem(s) that your innovation is addressing
Haiti relies on over 60% food imports to satisfy local demand. As an example, 1 million eggs are imported daily from the Dominican Republic. Local fishermen are able to provide only 4 to 5 metric tones of fish per year, thus $17 million of seafood is imported yearly in an attempt to satisfy local market. Another $3 million of pork is also imported yearly among the many other basic products. As fuel prices skyrockets, so does the food price which creates more poverty, social tensions and render unstable democracies. Haiti was on the brink of explosion with the food crisis of 2008. Investment in agriculture in the rural areas will create jobs, reduce rural migration and create healthier communities and render more stable democracy and help shelter the storm from the next food crisis when fuel price rise again.
Actions: Describe the steps that you are taking to make your innovation a success. Include a description of the business model. What might prevent that success?
Rule number: Treat all employees as family. We have built housing on the farm and provide them with a monthly food stipend. They save money since they don't have to pay rent or buy food. We have a core of trustworthy employees who share the mission of Kiskeya Aqua Ferme. Every employee is expected to learn and do every aspect of the farm regardless of title when necessary. One can substitute for the other. All the employees are also aware that once the farm is profitable they will reap the benefits in profit sharing and better salaries.
In the community, we show respect to our neighbors, we share their concerns and help identify resources to help them. We ask for their input when necessary. We help repair potholes, clean irrigation canals to facilitate them getting water to their farm. We also allow them to have access to valuabe irrigation water from the fish ponds with plenty of organic matter to help their crops grow more.
Results: Describe the expected results of these actions over the next three years. Please address each year separately, if possible
2011: The farm should be profitable and produce 100,000 of red tilapia per year
fully launched the microcredit program for women in the area
Help establish a cooperative a cooperative of charcoal briquette maker from sugar cane bagass.
2012: The farm should have a updated hatchery that provides tilapia fingerlings for other farmers in the area. The piggery will produce 600 of pigs per year. The farm will market smoked tilapia as its specialty
2013: Increase production capacity to 150,000 lbs of tilapia per year
If your innovation seeks to impact public policy, how?
It can show that investment in agriculture can generate jobs and develop rural communities. Alternative resources such as sugar cane bagass in Leogane can make a big impact in protecting the environment by showing an alternative to cutting of wood to make charcoal. It can show that by providing training and small seed funds to individuals or groups to begin briquette production we can protect the environment. Support of other potential ventures such as Kiskeya Aqua Ferme can also make an impact by attracting further investors to create jobs in Haiti particurlarly in rural regions.
Many Haitian home town association and potential investors who are examining the Kiskeya Aqua Ferme model as a replicable model that link diaspora based investment to local communitities in Haiti to support susatainable changes would be emboldened to start making investments in Haiti.