Friday, August 28, 2009

Staff Travel to Haiti to View Ongoing FTF Progress


Peggy Carlson, Program Director, and I recently traveled to Haiti to visit our local Chapter, staff, and ongoing projects. Please see below some photos and a brief summary of our trip. We hope this blog will be enjoyed by upcoming volunteers, returned volunteers and for all those who are interested in agriculture in Haiti. [photo: view of Aquin from hotel]

After our arrival in Port au Prince and some meetings there, we traveled throughout the South of Haiti (Signeau, Aquin, Les Cayes, Camp Perrin, Chantal, Jacmel, etc.) to meet with beekeepers who are involved with the program and also with farmers, association members, students, and others interested in learning more about involvement in the growing network of Haitian beekeepers. Through Farmer to Farmer and the efforts of Makouti Agro Enterprise, beekeepers in the North and increasingly in the South of Haiti are coming together to share experiences and solutions to their challenges. There is a wide spectrum of experience and types of hives – from log to Langstroth – and currently the beekeepers are experimenting with the use of a few Kenya Top Bar Hives, or Long Hives. Farmer to Farmer volunteers are actively working with the beekeepers to evaluate the effectiveness of their hives and improve management. [photo: inspecting hive for varroa mite]
After returning to Port au Prince, we flew to Cap Haitien where we inspected some more hives and also visited several rabbitries. Most rabbitries were community or family operations, some with more basic cages than others. Makouti’s “TechMaks” (technicians) have made much progress in working with the producers and following up on the volunteers’ recommendations, and you can see the pride on the faces of the farmers as they show you their rabbits. This project is growing rapidly thanks to our volunteers and Haitian counterparts.
On August 13-14, Cap Haitien put on its annual city fair, complete with a promotional stand for Makouti Agro Enterprise. Makouti exhibited honey from all over Haiti (plus New Jersey!) as well as live bees and honey comb, displayed in a specially-designed glass frame.The bees were a big attraction and a great educational tool. Makouti gave samples for people to taste and later served
BBQ rabbit. It was a hit! As usual, demand for the products was greater than production, so Farmer to Farmer has more work to do to help increase production. But we were pleased to see the progress in production and marketing made by the groups with whom we work. [photo: visiting community rabbitry in North]
In this video, Benito Jasmin (in voice) and Gerard Michel Joseph (FTF Field Staff) instruct local beekeepers on inspecting the Kenya Top Bar Hive.

2 comments:

  1. That looks like it was a great trip to Haiti!

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  2. Its great to see Farmer to Farmer and Peggy working in Haiti. Just went there on a mission and left dedicated to assist in all ways that I can.

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