Medical Missionaries Fellows, along with volunteers and head agronomist, Wiscard-Kardin Lapaix, have made significant progress in advancing St. Joseph Clinic’s Breadfruit Project over the past few months. Working together, they have moved the project’s agronomic, educational, and economic goals forward and have exciting plans for the future.
Using fifteen adult breadfruit trees, which were originally donated to St. Joseph Clinic by Trees That Feed Foundation, Wiscard has educated student volunteers on the science of agronomy this past fall, and together they have successfully propagated new breadfruit seedlings via macottage and root cutting techniques. These seedlings will be distributed in Thomassique to increase the number of breadfruit trees and nutritious edible crops in the region.
In January, Wiscard worked closely with each of St. Joseph Clinic’s five Community Health Workers to find local volunteer farmers who would like to participate in expanding our program in their communities. Having inspected gardens in each of our villages and having chosen the most viable land, Wiscard is currently hosting breadfruit education sessions in each village for the selected farmers.
Additionally, by increasing the number of fruit trees in the area and providing them to local farmers in the Clinic’s partner villages, our initiative also aims to benefit the local economy by introducing a new commodity to the market and providing select families in need with a product they can profit from.
Wiscard and St. Joseph Clinic’s work-study students have also harvested ripe breadfruit from our trees and have successfully made breadfruit flour. This flour will not only be distributed to families in need in St. Joseph Clinic’s Medika Mamba Program but also can create a new economic enterprise. In addition to seeding the community with agroforestry that can alleviate some pressure of hunger by giving them breadfruit trees, making flour that can be milled and stored for a year is advantageous because it is a not-easily-perishable food source. This food source can help address malnutrition year-round.
Over the next three months, Wiscard will finish hosting breadfruit education sessions, we will continue making breadfruit flour, and we will begin distributing our breadfruit seedlings to our outlying villages. We are delighted with how this initiative has grown over the past three months and are excited to see our project sprout in our five villages in the near future.