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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Rasma finds hope in a tiny seed

Rasma Simone lives in the coastal mountains of central Haiti, where she has been a member of the Chinchiron Farmer’s Cooperative since 1995.

Like the other members of the co-op, Rasma grows black beans and a variety of vegetables. The harvest of beans and other vegetables provides for Rasma and her five children.

Rasma is particularly pleased this year with her bountiful yield of beans. With the support of HOPE International Development Agency, Rasma and other co-op members tested a new strain of bean that proved to be exceptionally resistant to drought and disease.

The new seed, in combination with a particularly good growing season, resulted in the best harvest that Rasma and her fellow farmers have seen in over eight years. It has been a welcome relief after two trying seasons of drought.

Rasma’s hard work and a plentiful harvest paid off. Recently, she sold four bags of bean seeds back to the co-op. The beans will be stored in the co-op’s seed-bank until re-sold, at a profit, at the beginning of the next growing season.

With her earnings from the sale of seeds and later her share in the profits from sales, Rasma will be able to help her son with his upcoming wedding celebration and support a soon-to-be born grandchild.

The news of this new variety of bean has already traveled throughout the mountains of central Haiti. Other farmer’s co-ops are now requesting seed for the next planting season.

What an honor we have to walk alongside and work together with farmers like Rasma as they improve their lives and bring long-lasting change to their families and communities.

Rasma selling her bean seeds to Jean Josiel, a co-op member who is on the seed-buying committee.