SAPENSA / Poultry Farm
For over five years now, Sonje Ayiti has been a supporter of a for-profit poultry farming enterprise: Société agricole de production et d’élevage du Nord, S.A. – SAPENSA. The initial investors, Sonje Ayiti founders and supporters, have worked to enhance the local food supply as well as provide a viable and well-managed economic opportunity for the citizens of Limonade and northern Haiti. When the project first began it was, necessarily small, and early profit margins were low…but as more and more of the income was put into facility improvements and expansion, more Haitians were able to benefit from that growth. Women, many of whom had never had the opportunity to earn income to support their families, were able apply for our Koud-a-Koud microloan program if they met all the requirements, and were able to use those funds to purchase 10, 50 or even 100 chickens at a time and build up their own egg-laying flock, eat some as a ready source of high protein to feed their families, and to sell the rest locally to neighbors, restaurants, or local suppliers, pay off their loan and do it all again in a couple of months when the next flock was ready to market. Everyone the winner.
While this project is separate from the non-profit work of Sonje Ayiti, they are, none the less, complementary. The “profit” that SAO gains can be seen in the expanded health, education and economic development of the Haitian communities that it works with / for. Every well-managed, and worthwhile business that Sonje Ayiti can help, helps Sonje Ayiti to grow closer to her stated goals. Sonje Ayiti applauds and supports all well-planned and well-executed business opportunities if it fits the community standard of providing a valuable service to the enrichment of the entire community and culture, and it provides a source of employment and training for Haitians, and it is ecologically sustainable.
The SAPENSA Poultry farm in Limonade has now expanded its facility to accommodate a 12-week turn-over of up to 23,000 chickens at a time. We also have a flock of guinea fowl, a new, “state of the art” incubator, and have plans to convert one of its buildings into a processing and packaging area. So what is holding them back? The cost of feed is the single most expensive aspect of growing a large flock of chicks into a market-ready crop. Sonje Ayiti has a solid and well-respected relationship with a local farmers cooperative, M-CAD, who have 200 members, willing and available to plant up to 250 acres of crop land…and have been trying for over a year to receive some climate-specific, high-yield corn seed to plant to enhance our poultry production. If the seed actually comes available, or we have a donor who will supply us with enough seed to grow a larger crop, it will help dramatically. At harvest, the produce will be divided between the M-CAD farmers, and Sonje Ayiti, and then we will grind about ¾ of the seed to turn it into the highly prized feed when some additional minerals and vitamins are added, and use the remaining ¼ of the seed to replant for the next season’s planting.
Many Haitian families will benefit when this type of shared responsibility agriculture is employed, and it provides for an investment potential for Haitians and international investors and donors alike. This is not the type of business venture that will likely make folks “rich”, but, with patience and following good business practices, it will provide an income for many different people, increase the amount of locally grown food for sale and possible export, and set up a working model for a successful cooperative enterprise. If you or your company, institution, agency or foundation would like to help Sonje Ayiti in our support of the SAPENSA Poultry Farm, please contact us.
Restaurant / SuperMarket / Cassava Museum / Go-Karts
Located on the grounds of Sonje Ayiti’s farm across from the new Henri Christophe University just outside of Limonade in northern Haiti, a new for-profit enterprise is soon to open: A Restaurant!! Not like other restaurants in the area, this one is built to serve high quality, farm-fresh Haitian food at prices that are affordable for most Haitians. Like the SAPENSA Poultry Farm, this for-profit enterprise has been funded by local Haitian entrepreneurs who are seizing the opportunity to help market locally-grown fresh produce, provide an employment opportunity, and set up a model for a well-managed, ecologically-sustainable, and well-placed business enterprise that will meet or exceed all of the current community standards. With the new growth into the area, along the nicest and busiest highway in northern Haiti, as a critical link between Cap-Haitien, Haiti’s second largest city, and the Dominican Republic, the restaurant will not only be a visible landmark by its bright “Haitian” colors, but also for the quality of its atmosphere and affordably-priced cuisine, and the effort to demonstrate that Haitians can help other Haitians.
This initial facility has already attracted a lot of attention from the nearly 2,000 students, staff and faculty of the sparkling new University; it will soon be followed by two other efforts, with a final structure as a gift to the Haitian people. Another construction project located not 200’ from the Restaurant is a unique SuperMarket. This building will not only offer high quality, locally-grown, fresh produce, but will also house a copy center, and a hair salon…all under the same roof, and again, convenient to the students, faculty and staff at the University, but provide a healthy opportunity for food shopping in an area where there are few other options. Like the Restaurant, this facility will offer a convenient market for local growers to sell their produce, provide employment opportunities and provide a Haitian business model for other such enterprises in the area…again, Haitians helping Haitians.
One other for-profit project is being planned at the same location, that is truly unique in Haiti…a Go-Kart track. The details are still being worked on, and investors and donating partners sought to bring this recreational idea to reality. Like children and young adults everywhere, Haitians like the excitement of having a fun outing buzzing around a track in a machine that they would never consider buying for themselves. Family fun, not so unlike other places around the world. Indeed, it will be a treat for those who can jump in a go!
Why a Go-Kart track…in such a poor country? Indeed, there will be many families who will not be able to take advantage of this fun venue, but there are still plenty of families who can. The site is ideally located on a heavily-traveled road that is not only traveled by visitors between the DR and northern Haiti hotels, beaches and tourist attractions, but it is within 10 minutes of the new and modern Caracol Industrial Park, employing many Haitians as well as internationals. Again, this is an effort to help Haitians help Haitians, by providing employment opportunities, and provides a new and unique, fun-adventure that most Haitians have never enjoyed before.
Obviously the Go-Kart project will take some additional investments for local and international investors to set up, but the goal remains to provide another opportunity for Haitians to manage their own economic destiny. This complex will all be located on the front ½ of Sonje Ayiti’s 12 acre farm plot, with the rear portion dedicated to demonstrating the best agricultural practices, and as a teaching site for agronomy students, as well as providing fresh produce for both the Restaurant and the SuperMarket.
The final planned addition to this development project is to be a gift to the Haitian people: A Cassava Museum…dedicated to reminding the Haitian people of the value of this simply root food, and the varieties grown in Haiti, preparation necessary for its optimal use and its future as a staple in the Haitian diet. This is an educational effort aimed to help children and youth better understand and appreciate the one single food that seems to have remained a constant for many generations of Haitians….fittingly located directly across from what will likely become one of the finest centers for higher education in all of Haiti.
If you would like to either donate goods, funds or services to any or all of these projects, please contact us.