The agricultural system of Kombit in Haiti

A well known staple of Haitian culture and society the Kombit system allows, through the collaborative effort of members of the community, the cashless exchange of agricultural goods and supplies. The emphasis of the concept is the sharing of products in a communal sense, not selling for profit. This way is not conducive to exportation, as most of the produced items are consumed within the area in which they are produced.


Ordinarily, a farmer will announce a planned Kombit day, selecting one fit for planting a specific crop. Invitations are extended to as many as he can support and tasks are meted out based on ability--with men responsible for digging and heavy lifting, and sex--with women and children doing easier work such as planting seeds. The work becomes an even greater benefit to the community with the unity it provides through the singing and joke telling that accompanies a Kombit. Participants are fed three meals for the day and share in the harvest they have helped to plan and plant.

An advocate of Kombit and the role it plays in Haitian society CREOLE Inc (Corporation for the Rejuvenation, Enrichment, and Output of the Landscape & Environment), a non-profit corporation based in Florida, makes their mission one to help the agricultural sector with its growth and management while maintaining the integrity of the environment. The idea has also taken root and influenced other companies in different ways. A recent Hackathon held in Port-au-Prince, which hosted some of the world's brightest designers, developers and experts, was rebranded as 'Kombit', no doubt to capture the essence of community and growth long associated with this purely Haitian tradition.

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Read more: Agriculture, Slavery, Agriculture Tips, Peasant, Kombit, Agriculture and Food

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