Bio of Madame Marie Lourdes Acene – Meds & Food for Kids Farmer

Bio of Madame Marie Lourdes Acene – Meds & Food for Kids Farmer 

Madame Marie Lourdes Acene

Born in northeastern Haiti, Madame Marie Lourdes Acene moved to Iladan to live with her husband, whom she met at school. Together they have 6 children and 6 grand children. To earn a living, Marie Lourdes buys, repairs, and resells shoes between markets as well as growing and selling peanuts and beans. Her husband works as a chofer but is currently ill, and so the responsibility for supporting their children and certain grand children falls primarily on Marie. Marie’s parents grew small quantities of peanuts and made mamba, traditions she has carried forward. Before last year however, Marie Lourdes hadn’t grown peanuts for roughly 10 years, as she found it didn’t make good enough economic sense. Marie tells us that the costs of producing peanuts were too high. While working with MFK’s agricultural extension team, Marie Lourdes harvested 232 kg, more total and per unit of land than any other farmer in the group of 10 that MFK invited into this past season’s intervention. The intervention introduced the use of cost-saving small-sized tractors for soil preparation as well as yield enhancing fungicides and was funded by generous grants from the Inter-American Foundation, the USAID’s Peanut Collaborative Research Support Program, and the Conservation Food and Health Foundation.

Marie is a leader in her community and this past season was responsible for motivating the group of 10 farmers to establish a kombit system, which she hoped would help them save money.The kombit system is a traditional Haitian system where farmers help one another prepare, weed, and/or harvest communally in exchange for a full meal and llively company each day that they work. In Iladan, the meal often begins with hot chocolate and spice infused coffee, both of which are harvested and produced in the area, along with accompanying soft white bread. Midday, workers are then given rice and beans along with seasoned meat or salt cod if the hosts can afford to. Of all the farmers in the group, Marie saw the highest return on her investment this year, earning a profit of $US33. At the final training session in late September, she shared a song she had written in appreciation of MFK’s work.

Song written by Madame Marie Lourdes Acene and sung at closing training session where we reviewed results:

MFK’s Project,
Is a project for peasants.
They’re helping us work,
And helping us earn money.
What’s great as well,
They give us excellent training sessions.

We make more friends, and relationships are strengthened.
We make more friends, and relationships are strengthened.

To become a member,
There are conditions that must be met
You must be a serious person
and live in the area
If you are willing
to be a member of a solidarity group

If you meet that description, Come and we’ll receive you
If you meet that description, Come and we’ll receive you

Madame Marie and some of her family.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *