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Jamaicans Help Haitians Grow Breadfruit

Jamaicans Teach Haitians How To Grow Breadfruit
Written by Staff Writer

The Trees That Feed Foundation and founders Michael and Mary McLaughlin of Jamaica developed a project that brought a group of seven Haitian agronomists to Jamaica for a one-week intensive training program designed to show them how to produce plants that can be utilized to reforest Haiti in the most efficient way. The Foundation partnered with Hope Botanical Gardens, College of the Arts Science and Education, and the Agriculture Ministry’s Boodles Research Station. Joseph Johnson, who has responsibility for plant propagation at Boodles, said the goal was to instruct the Haitians in grafting and circumposing to propagate breadfruit, mangoes and avocados. The team of seven Haitians who received the training plant trees all over their country for the Foundation, with six of the men working for the group for five years, said Mary McLaughlin. The companies employing the men generally reforest the land with timber trees, since fruit trees are more expensive, but Trees That Feed uses fruit trees in its reforestation efforts instead because of their long-term sustainability. The trees also fulfill the organization’s goal of creating forests that make contributions to food security. Breadfruit is the focus for the reforesters because cultivation of these plants would eliminate Haiti’s need to import the starch. The Haitian men grow the seedlings of the breadfruit tree, and the Foundation buys them to donate for reforesting initiatives, providing both employment and food.

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