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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Planting seeds in Haiti

Lutheran-supported co-op helps poor farmers find strength in numbers

Showing off his agricultural accomplishments, Marcel Charlmeus yanks a plant from Haiti's dusty mountain soil and holds aloft a lumpy baseball-bat sized tuber.

The cassava root, which will be processed into flour, marks Charlmeus as a risk-taker among the 3,000 farmers in the Bayonnais region. Instead of traditional crops that deplete the soil, he planted cassava and peanuts, which together help maintain soil fertility.

"He was one of the first farmers in this area to grow crops other than corn and sorghum," says Cantave Jean-Baptiste, Haiti director for World Neighbors, an international program that receives Lutheran World Relief support.

World Neighbors is one of many Lutheran-supported programs aimed at helping Haiti, the poorest nation in the Americas.


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