Haiti Reconstruction

Rebuilding Haiti must start from the ground up, with agricultural education

Goat project

Sunn Hemp, a Forage for Goats click here 

Click this next document to see Bob's list on Green Forage crops


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.

Click here to check out this power point, their study on dairy cows but it holds true for dairy goats also.







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 +)
Calliandra                    Banana                                         Elephant grass
  Glyricida                     Etlingera                           Guinea grass
  Leucaena                     Heliconia                          Para grass
  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 +)
Leucaena                     Banana Bambatsi panic
  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:

Digestibility of nutrient content of Vetiver grass by goats


and in Vetiver System for Agriculture Development :


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:

Research Cooperation For Livestock-Based Sustainable Farming Systems In The Lower Mekong Basin


Agromisa has a goat publication in English

Goat keeping in the tropics

and French

L'élevage de chèvres dans les zones tropicales


There's also Oxfam's:

Improving Goat Production in the Tropics: A manual for development workers



Comment by Robert Fairchild on October 2, 2015 at 2:37pm

I think that improving goat production in Haiti will require a change in management practices. Managed pasture and/or managed cut and carry systems (either can include grass and forage legumes, as well as trees/shrubs managed for forage production) must replace the current tie them to a tree or put on a yoke and let them find what they can.

 Cut and carry will be more labor intensive, but more productive, and much less damaging to the land. see:


Comment by Robert Fairchild on October 2, 2015 at 2:47pm

The AgroDoks are no longer available for free from Agromisa. You can get the English version free at:

http://www.ruaf.org/sites/default/files/Goat keeping in the tropics.pdf

I have the French version. Let me know if you want it by leaving a comment. No need to include your email address. As a site administrator, I have access to member email addresses and will send it directly to you.

Comment by edwin r. lynch on October 16, 2015 at 6:28am

I would like to know if you have looked at  fodder   systems that can grow barley/wheat sprouts in 7 days using hydroponic system which will yield 7 lbs for every lb of seed this is a system that can be used to feed all animals and does not rely on weather and uses app 2% of water .please contact me for further information  erldisplayco@aol.com

Comment by Robert Fairchild on October 16, 2015 at 7:41am

Hydroponics is probably too high tech for the Haitian countryside. The system would also be completely dependent on imported seed.

Comment by edwin r. lynch on October 16, 2015 at 11:43am

Hi Robert . Hydroponics does not need to be high tech As for seed there are organizations that are starting to address this issue in Haiti .I am also looking for groups that are interested in creating chicken production both meat and layers I am prepared to support this operation and give back to the Haitian people ,please advise any opportunity ,have studied a number of groups and have seen them all fail .have experience and can call on expert info from a friend who owns the second largest chicken operation in Canada

Comment by edwin r. lynch on October 21, 2015 at 4:38pm

where are the real workers of Haiti ,I am looking for farmers that will work the land and be their own boss ,and reap the benefit of their labour . contact me if you can direct me to these people


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