History of the Goat Program
Members of the Chapel Communities and HHH formed a Goat Committee to address the purchase, raising, breeding and financial benefits of goat farming. We started by identifying five to seven leaders in each of the four chapel communities. Each leader was then given three female goats with access to a shared breeding male goat, a veterinary technician and education on proper goat management. In return, each leader is required to give six baby goats back to the committee for distribution to other community members, thus increasing the number of members participating, learning and building community with one another. At the present time, the cost of a female goat is about $45 and a large male breeding goat is about $200. It also costs $2,400 for a year of service by the veterinary technician. We are very pleased with the enthusiasm for the program.
May 2020 Goat Report
Follow up visits occurred with goat farmers of the program in their respective communities, while following the preventive recommendations against COVID-19. We continue to regroup farmers in small groups of less than 10 people at different locations within their community so that we can do our job. Some participants are still reluctant to come to meetings even if these smaller groups.
We discussed the overall health of the goats, food, water, and shelter, and talked about the importance of daily observation of the goats especially when they leave the shelters in the morning and when they come back in the afternoon. We emphasize the importance of reproduction of the goats and payback that we believe are keys to the growth of the program in the communities.
- In Noyau, goat farmers of our program have 222 goats in total for 53 active participants.
- Goat farmers in the chapel community of Boyer own together 82 goats.
- Goat farmers in Feja currently have 66 goats in total, 10 males, 32 females, and 21 females of breeding age.
- In Desvarieux, they have in total 142 goats.
- Presently, the goat program is closed of Coupe Gorge due to lack of interest in the community.
March/April 2020 Goat Report
Goat activities for the second half of March 2020, were significantly slowed down by the coronavirus. We begin our quarterly vaccination campaign on February 15th 2020 for the goats. We did cover three out of the five villages that we serve: Desvarieux, Noyau and Feja, until we were forced us to stop visiting with our goat members. The Haiti government has prohibited all large gatherings including churches, schools and have asked that people stay home unless there is a real emergency.
We have since been able to resume field activities, however, when we visit with the goat farmers, we split them in small groups of 10 or less in their respective communities and then work with them on separate schedules during the day of their monthly meeting.
Covid-19 does not have any direct impact on the health of the goats of the program, but is does affect members of the program in many other ways. Currently, price for goats dropped a great deal at the public market due to the fact that goat merchants have not been coming to the markets as they used to. As a result, farmers who bring a goat to the market either have to return home with it or sell it for a low price. That could be as low as 30% less compare to what it would be sold for before the outbreak of the virus. Goat famers become less capable of buying basic products for their families. There is no cash flow, not a lot of movements in the public markets.
Other activities for the month include educating goat farmers of our program on the basics measures to take in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19 into their community. For instance, we talked about washing hands followed by practical examples, social distancing, wearing a mask when social distancing cannot be applied. At the end of the session, we give each participant a homemade mask.