|Rabbits are a good source of nutrition and income for|
smallholder Haitian farmers
Long-time Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) Volunteer Myriam Kaplan-Pasternak recently returned from her fifteenth trip to Haiti in seven years. As a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from California, Myriam has had a unique volunteer experience in that she’s been able to follow the progression of the rabbit industry in Haiti, with rabbit meat becoming increasingly accepted on a larger scale as a viable source of nutrition and income for smallholder farmers. When Myriam first started volunteering with F2F in Haiti in 2006, there were fewer than 100 rabbit producers in the country, and only one of them was also eating the rabbits she raised. Today, with the help of F2F and Makouti Agro-Enterprise, this number has grown to over 1,000 producers with almost all raising rabbits for both personal consumption and sale.
|Boiling and mixing cassava to include in rabbit feed blocks|
|Rabbit feed blocks produced locally with Myriam's help|
Myriam found that although there are still many challenges in making Haitian rabbit production a sustainable business, new developments like the nutritional feed blocks and meat processing plant will help support smallholder producers and the local economy. In her trip reflection, Myriam wrote, “Farming will never be easy, but…rather than creating dependency and spending money on imported food…, it does feed people, provide them with incomes, and keep the economy alive by moving money around…Haiti.”
|Myriam with two new rabbit producers|