Mouvman Pwodikte Kalabat - Providing not only hope but tangible improvements

Mouvman Pwodikte Kalabat (MPK) is a producer business group (PBG) formed in 2012 to help mango producers in Haiti secure higher prices for their products through better formal market linkages, adoption of harvest/postharvest best practices, and access to credit.

Mango trees grow in their natural habitat with little human intervention outside of the harvest. Teams of pickers traditionally climb trees up to 20 m in height to hand-pick or cut high-quality fruit which they toss down to a “catcher” on the ground. Producers selling to the export market have on average 8-10 productive trees. The PBG coordinates harvest intervals for approximately 20 group members per interval, aggregating volumes, washing and grading for quality and dispatching the product to an exporter’s packing house 180 km away in the capital, Port-au-Prince. This has generated seasonal employment for the community members and provided opportunities to learn important skills, ranging from recordkeeping to grafting. By introducing producers and workers to harvest/postharvest best practices, MPK has provided an alternative for its members to bypass disadvantageous traditional broker channels, gain better control over their harvest and receive higher, consistent pricing from exporters directly. Revenues generated by the PBG have translated into improvements in their community as well, through micro-infrastructure projects and internal, informal lending schemes.

Initially, smallholder mango producers were reluctant to accept the idea of forming a producer business group focused primarily on economic impact, rather than the sociopolitical objectives common to many farmer organizations in rural Haiti. Moreover, producers were accustomed to a passive approach to mango production and commercialization – disregarding cultivation, relying on social networks and brokers for both harvest and market access, and neglecting tree maintenance and care. To address these challenges, the TechnoServe - Haiti Hope Project convened various stakeholders in the value chain, including producers, seasonal workers, traders and packing house managers (i.e. exporters) to promote communication, information exchange and investment. Risk assessments were conducted to identify food safety barriers along the supply chain, including produce safety and quality, workers’ welfare, traceability and segregation, and environmental stewardship.

MPK has today managed to fulfill a number of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals including “the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources”, the “substantial increase of the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills”, and – as more than half of the members of MPK are women – the “provision of equal rights for women to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance and natural resources“.