|Photo from first training of Makouti technicians|
I have been volunteering in Haiti for ten years. My initial work involved meat rabbit production and evolved into food security and meat quality assurance; this is my first assignment specific to meat goat production and management. This assignment was expected to help producers to 1) evaluate/assess their current system of goat production management, including feeding, reproduction, and overall maintenance (shade, ventilation, aeration, heat, etc.); 2) identify and reinforce best practices to improve the quality of their product.
Excessive rains and flooding were a serious constraint during this visit, we received over 36” of rain during our two weeks. For the first five days we had limited access to areas beyond the hotel, and our in-country colleagues were unable to access us. Myriam Kaplan-Pasternak (F2F volunteer from California) and I took advantage of this time to develop relevant training documents and detailed presentation to be utilized for the final Friday of week one and four days of the following week.
|Flooding situation at end of first week|
Both the lecture and hands-on training covered detailed information on nutrition (including continuous access to water), selection, production, management, reproduction, parasitism, FAMACHA, health, disease, shelter, confirmation, kidding, body-condition scoring, estimating body weights using a measuring tape, hoof trimming, castration, injection sites, ear tag application, castration, and deworming.
|Hoof trimming demonstration|
The meat goat industry in Haiti has experienced significant advancement. Farmers and hosts have easier access to supplies (fencing wire, veterinary medicines and supplies, feeds, etc.) and number of goat farmers and goat inventories have increased. What seems to be much needed is a strong interest for improving quality of individual animals and herds, providing adequate nutrition including water, and quality of animal husbandry. While many of these farmers sincerely enjoy raising goats, they fail to take the initiative for improving various aspects of production quality. I have observed this for years with all types of livestock production in Haiti, and is a common problem in the U.S. with novice livestock producers.
|Individual filling out evaluation form|
|Technician looking into microscope to assess fecal-egg count|
Makouti technician assisting farmer with goat evaluation in Robillard
To find out more about our open assignments in Haiti, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.