Subsistence Agricultural Alternatives: Diego Nicolas
Farmers of Grand Boukan harvest and maintain some natural resources like sugarcane, mangoes, corn and bananas but they had little knowledge about how to cultivate them as a crop. Monoculture and ongoing deforestation have made the soil erosive.
During the first week of June, Diego worked with the farmers on simple ecological methods to improve crop yield and soil quality and together they established a network of farmers from Grand Boukan and the surrounding communities to exchange innovative practices of subsistence agriculture and to cultivate a greater variety of plants. Back in Villarica (Chile), Diego published a two-page article about his experience in Haiti and about the Melton Foundation in one of the local newspapers. He intends to remain in touch via email and also to visit Haiti again to share more knowledge with the farmers.
Diego Nicolas knows wine better than most of us: as a professional agronomist he is one of the few viticulturists who applies environmentally friendly cultivation techniques in Chile, in part as a result of his experiences in Germany, the US, and South Africa.