Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Have Rabbits, Will Travel

Small-scale farmers in the surrounding areas of Port au Prince have had great success in producing numerous rabbits through the support of Farmer to Farmer and Makouti Agro Enterprise, however the logistics of traveling to markets with the animals has presented a significant roadblock for the typical Haitian producer living in a mountain community. In Haiti, revenue from animal sales can make a marked difference in a family's ability to purchase food and basic goods, and pay for a children's school fees.

Aware of this challenge, the Farmer to Farmer Program in Haiti recently collaborated with officials from the Haitian Agricultural Ministry to help form a network of rabbit producers in communities in the environs of Port au Prince, such as Grand Boulage, Kenscoff, and Croix des Bouquets. Among the purposes of this network are to share best practices in rabbit care and management, and to establish market linkages between more rural villages and the bustling markets of Port au Prince. With reliable market linkages, producers will have more sales opportunities which will bring them income for their families and micro-enterprises.
Local Outreach Shows Event Participants with FTF Volunteer Dr. Kaplan-Pasternak

Haiti's first Cuniculture Event was held on May 23 to unite the network and provide training in a range of management topics. Farmer to Farmer volunteer Myriam Kaplan-Pasternak gave workshops to the participants, which included representatives from over 10 communities in the region. With the network set up, there are already over 220 rabbits to sell. For more pictures and information on the Cuniculture event, visit Myriam's DGES Blog.

The Farmer to Farmer Program has planned future trainings in meat quality assurance and marketing. We are seeking volunteers to provide further assistance in the areas of rabbit health, breeding, and animal nutrition. If you are skilled in these areas and interested to learn more, please contact Partners of the Americas' Farmer to Farmer Program.

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