18 year old Emanise, in her final year at school, is eager to help take care of her parents’ farm in Dondon, Haiti.
Armed with a passion for farming, her parents’ advice, her knowledge of coffee production, and a micro-enterprise loan from the Cafédirect Producers’ Foundation Emanise started her own business.
Keen to develop an additional revenue stream for her family, Emanise bought seeds and cultivated a ‘baby nursery’ of about 920 coffee plants in her backyard. Using the micro-enterprise loan she expanded the nursery into a more comfortable space and grew her nursery to 3600 coffee plants. The business Emanise has started is now worth 60 000 HTG ($1 200).
Proud of this growth and inspired by her journey, Emanise sought out innovative ways of keeping costs low as possible. By using local materials such as wooden sticks, local seeds and coconut leaves for shade, she has minimised reliance on expensive, imported metal sticks and plastic shade.
“Every time I go to my ‘baby nursery’ I feel such pride at seeing my dream becoming a reality” Emanise said, reflecting on her achievements and entrepreneurial journey so far.
Emanise now wants to pursue a degree in agricultural science. Her experience of running a successful nursery has not only given her the confidence she needs to pursue her dreams, but also helped her understand the opportunities that agriculture can afford her and her community. Cafedirect Producers’ Foundation will be looking to expand its work with young people in smallholder communities. While this is not an easy task, with the lure of the city attracting young people away from rural areas, Emanise’s success shows that when effectively nurtured, an entrepreneurial spirit can turn a passion for agriculture into an effective and rewarding career.
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