Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Rabbit Production in Haiti

One of Philippe's rabbits
During her most recent F2F assignment to Haiti, volunteer Myriam Kaplan-Pasternak provided follow-up assistance to rabbit farmers on the family-production and commercial scales. Activities were centered on promoting this industry as a viable income-generator and on educating more university agronomy students in activities related to rabbit production, such as vet care, processing, feed block production, and general management.

“Twelve students and two instructors from the MARNDR (Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Rural Development) arrived on a field trip to Lory and Quartier Morin. They visited Philippe’s rabbitry in Quartier Morin and then came to Lory for several PowerPoint talks on rabbits. We also did hands-on wet lab dissection of 5 rabbits. The next morning we made a sample batch of rabbit feed blocks. This technology is a segue into commercially available, locally made, animal feeds for farm animals. We also ate rabbits from the previous day.”

Dr. Kaplan-Pasternak also conducted trainings on adding value to rabbit by-products, namely the feet and tails that would normally be thrown away. By processing these elements and attaching them to key chains, producers can bring in an added income of up to $15 per rabbit.Madame Alexandre and Marie Ange can now increase their profits five times, from $3 per rabbit for the meat to $18 with the 4 feet and tail beautifully set on a key chain. They are already talking about earrings and hair ornaments too. What was once a waste product is now increasing family incomes and changing lives.Those are definitely some lucky rabbit feet.” 

                    
                           Marie Ange focused on her work
                                                         
Dr. Kaplan-Pasternak with Marie Ange and Madame Alexandre

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