Dear readers and supporters,

During the month of September, HTRIP furthered its mission of teaching local farmers in the Artibonite about the making and benefits of organic compost by helping all of its outreach communities to put up a compost pile for their tree nurseries. At each of the composting konbit in the different communities, people came together to participate and learn about all the organic ingredients such as animal manure, dry leaves, and other debris from their agricultural fields that they can use to make organic compost.

At HTRIP, we highly encourage the farmers to add animal manure from poultry, horse, goat, and cattle in their organic compost because they are easy to find locally, and they also provide a great amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (N, P, K) – the three essential nutrients for plant growth.

In addition, HTRIP together with MODEVKV (the HTRIP association for leaders of the communities with over 5 years in the program) led a set of pruning konbits in 26 HTRIP tree plots. These plots are part of the shade-crops research project on yam and passion fruit, and the pruning will increase the amount of sunlight inside the plots for these crops. This shade-crops research is part of HTRIP’s strategy to establish the Phase II of the HTRIP program collaboratively with the leaders of MODEVKV in order to help develop a sustainable Agroforestry model in the Artibonite that focuses on trees associated with shade crops. Pruning and/or pollarding (action of removing upper branches of trees) is one of the techniques that is being taught in the HTRIP training session about tree care, and HTRIP strongly advises tree plot owners to use branches from pruning and/or pollarding to make charcoal instead of cutting down the whole tree.

Besides assisting different konbits and delivering training sessions in the communities, the technicians were also able to run a complete tool inventory in all HTRIP community nurseries. Each year, HTRIP supports groups of farmers involved in its program with tools and food for soil conservation and other additional materials such as watering pots, seed-germination trays, and wheelbarrows for seedling production. In some cases, we even carry trucks of dirt to communities that are extremely eroded and where soil is hard to find. We look forward to start collecting/recycling the small empty water bags from local people for the use of our nurseries.

For this 2014-2015 cycle, we once again renew our goal to help every community involved in our program to produce at least 7,000 seedlings each. With all of the community nurseries and central nurseries combined, we will be able to produce about 400,000 seedlings to be planted in the Artibonite region during summer 2015. We thank you for your continuous support, and we please ask you to stay committed to us in our mission to look for feasible options to reduce deforestation in Haiti while taking into account how difficult it is for subsistence farmers in Haiti to make a living on degraded soil.

Thank you, The HTRIP staff including Melissa Sanon and Dawn Johnson