Rebuilding Haiti must start from the ground up, with agricultural education
This project is in Gris Gris, Haiti
Our milking goat improvement project was developed not only for bringing more nutrition to the community.
Future income could come from selling hybrid goats to other Sister Parishes throughout Haiti or making cheeses that will sell in Jacmel or Port au Prince.
Newborn females are given to more and more families as they multiply.
The goats are very good for Gris Gris’s terrain, they fertilize the ground as they forage.
We have found that most of the problems with every project we have started in Gris Gris comes from a lack of food.
The goats need a lot of good forage to produce more milk.
Before we do anymore improving the goat herd we must be sure to have a lot of the right forage.
Composting is worthless because when the rains come during hurricane seasons this compost and all the nutrients of any remaining soil wash into the ocean.
We now have many 3rd and even 4th generation goats from our LaMancha stock line but need new bloodlines.
We really need to bring a team of specialists that can bring in semen and possibly fertilized egg implants from great dairy goats in order to keep improving the herd or we will be back to where we started.
For now we must concentrate on stopping the erosion and producing more forage for the goats to eat so they can make more milk!
We are training them to terrace the land, which not only holds back erosion but holds water for crops and when soaking into the ground replenishes the ground water for the wells.
The terraces will become large enough for gardens and the steep sides are planted with grasses or herbs as they call it for the goats to forage after the crops are harvested.
The plants we are concentrating on are Nitrogen fixing trees that produce a lot of protein, both leucaena and benzolive can increase the milk supply by 50% or more. Goats are nibblers that need many forages and grasses, our 3 step program will both help the hillsides produce more food for the people and the goat herds.
has some information that is relevant to Haiti (Sadhu is in Puerto Rico):
Here are a few options for the most common micro climates in the Caribbean:
|Tree legumes||Shrubs and shrub legumes (Multipurpose)||Grasses|
(60 inches +)
|Sesbania||Pigeon Pea||Rhodes grass|
(30 inches +)
|Same as above||Banana||Arachis species|
|Same as above||Desmanthus||Green panic grass|
|Same as above||Katuk||Para grass|
|Same as above||Sweet Potato||Phalaris grass|
(15 inches +)
|Moringa oleifera||Cassia||Buffel grass|
|Sesbania sesban||Pigeon Pea||Phalaris grass|
These crops can either be provided for free browsing or in a cut-and-carry arrangement; if the latter method is used, it is important to plant an adequate amount and to grow it as close by the shed as possible. Some herbaceous legumes and grasses can be established within a few months, others require at least a year or even more. My main point here is to prepare as early and well as you can, and fill in whatever is missing in the due course of time.
There's an interesting article:
In addition, a comparison of protein content (Table 7) showed that fresh and tender Vetiver stems and leaves (at 65 days) was higher than alfalfa, clover, sweet potato vine and rice straw but slightly lower than that of Chinese milk vetch (Astragalus sinicus). Although protein content in dry Vetiver (at 65 and 215 days) was lower than alfalfa, it was higher than that in corn silage and other common winter fodders such as rice straw and wild oat straw. Moreover, the methionine content of Vetiver was almost the same as other fodders, while the lysine content was much higher (Soil and Fertilizer Department of the Agricultural Bureau of Sichuan Province, 1992). These measurements indicated that tender Vetiver grass clippings were suitable as fodder for cattle, sheep, pigs, rabbits, and fish. Also with cattle and sheep, Vetiver seemed very palatable.
Search LRRD (Livestock Research for Rural Development) for some great research on alternative feeds for goats and other livestock. These include sugar cane, bananas, Trichanthera leaves, sun dried cassava leaves, jackfruit leaves, sweet potato leaves, and lots of legume tree leaves including Calliandra, Sesbania, Leucaena, and Gliricidia, and leaves of non-legume trees Moringa and Trichanthera.
Another source of good information on livestock is:
Agromisa has a goat publication in English
There's also Oxfam's: