On May 3rd, the Parliament of the World's Religions joined Smallholder Farmer's Alliance, Timberland, Columbia University, and the New York Institute of Technology for a special event featuring Colleen Vien, Director of Sustainability & Responsibility of Timberland, Timote Georges, Executive Director of the Smallholder Farmers Alliance – Haiti, and Hugh Locke, President of the Smallholder Farmers Alliance – Haiti and 2018 Parliament of the World's Religions keynote speaker.
Launching an Agricultural Revolution in Haiti featured a presentation by global outdoor brand Timberland and the Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA) about their joint initiative to reintroduce cotton to Haiti following a 30-year absence. This time around organic cotton is being grown exclusively by smallholders who are using tree planting as an alternate form of currency to finance both cotton and food crops. At the same time, a new data management system being developed with Columbia University’s SIPA Capstone Project is in beta testing now to track and measure the impact of cotton and other crops on smallholder income, food security, climate change, and women’s empowerment. With SFA farmer members having planted over seven million trees to date, the goal is to use a combination of tree planting, a new data system, and high-value export cotton to jumpstart an agricultural revolution in Haiti.
Hosted at the New York Institute of Technology, the event also featured a special welcome from Harshwardhan Shekhawat, President of the NYIT School of Management Student Advisory Board and a brief introduction from Raymond Alcide Joseph, Journalist, author and former Haitian Ambassador to the United States.
Enjoy images from the event below!