At the heart of these programs are farming families in remote and densely populated rural areas that farm on land plots measuring less than 1 hectare. These families are unable to produce enough and therefore generate sufficient income to ensure their safety and improve their socio-economic situation. This also means they cannot bounce back in the event of unforeseen circumstances (such as weather hazards, price volatility, etc.), maintain the fertility of their soils, save or invest money, or increase their agricultural production.
Inter Aide and its partners seek to help these families of micro-producers get out of this situation of poverty.
Together they implement support programs for family farms in 5 countries: Ethiopia, Madagascar, Malawi, Sierra Leone and Haiti. Inter Aide is also working on opening a new project in Haïti in 2017, where revitalization of the coffee labeled “Haitian blue” and reforestation initiatives had been launched in the past.
The activities are mainly focused on three areas:
- on subsistence production and labor productivity, being mindful of combining the increase and diversification of the production, with the preservation of fertility, biomass and biodiversity. The aim is to enable families to be better prepared to face hazards and to encourage them to use methods that help maintain soil fertility (erosion control, agroforestry, compost, etc.) so that they can grow sufficient food on their small plots of land (measuring generally less than 1 hectare) to ensure their food security and to preserve their plant material (seeds, tubers, fodder plants).
- on the reinforcement of existing and new productive food and cash crops (through counter-season vegetable crops; through the development of a local onion-production chain in Sierra Leone; rice, pulses, and spice-production chains in Madagascar; feed, potatoes and wheat production chains in Ethiopia…)
- on the ability of local stakeholders (organizations of farmers, public services, private parties, traditional groups, etc.) to provide long-term and autonomous services that meet the needs of farming families (by supplying inputs, providing marketing, technical and financial support, granting access to rural credit, allowing for peasant representation, etc.)