In response to sharply increased demand for breadfruit in Haiti, the Trees That Feed Foundation (TTFF) announced today that it is partnering with the local Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA) to grow 1,000 breadfruit trees a month for distribution to Haitian farmers who want to begin growing or to expand their existing production.
“A typical breadfruit weighs about four pounds,” said Mary McLaughlin, Founder, Trees That Feed Foundation, “and can supply the entire carbohydrate portion of a meal for a family of five. A single mature tree produces over 200 fruit a year. So you begin to see the potential impact on nutrition.”
Breadfruit has extraordinary health benefits and is loaded with protein, vitamins and minerals. When dried and ground, the fruit produces a multi-purpose flour that has the advantage of being gluten-free. Combine all this with significant amounts of low-fat carbohydrates and it is clear to see why many are beginning to factor breadfruit into future strategies to combat global food security challenges.
Leading up to this partnership, SFA agronomist Chilet Jean was hosted recently by TTFF for a breadfruit training session in Jamaica, where the fruit is even more widely used than in Haiti. “I am very keen to apply what I learned in Jamaica,” said Jean, newly appointed SFA Breadfruit Manager, “because so many more farmers want to grow breadfruit as it becomes known to be nutritious and is selling well in the markets.”
“Breadfruit is one of the world’s highest yielding food plants,” noted Timote Georges, Executive Director of the Smallholder Farmers alliance, “and we want to support its expansion among Haiti’s farm community. In addition to supplying local markets, we hope one day to begin exporting breadfruit.”
The Smallholder Farmers Alliance will grow breadfruit in three different tree nurseries near Gonaives, St. Michel de l’Attalaye and Cabaret.
Trees That Feed Foundation’s mission is planting fruit trees in developing countries to feed people, create jobs and benefit the environment. TTFF has supplied over 90,000 trees planted and over 250,000 meals to young schoolchildren.
The Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA) applies business solutions to help feed and reforest a renewed Haiti by establishing market-based farmer cooperatives, building agricultural export markets, creating rural farm businesses and contributing to community development.