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Friday
Nov022012

Livestock Addition to Smallholder Farmers Alliance in Haiti

Jules Marcelus, a farmer member of the cooperative created by the Smallholder Farmers Alliance,
with one of the cows donated by Heifer International. Jules farms near the rural community of Morancy,
which is close to Gonaives. SFA photo by Hugh Locke.

The Haiti branch of Heifer International recently donated sixteen cows and one bull to Alyans Ti Plantè-Gonaïves, the farmer cooperative pilot program of the Smallholder Farmers Alliance. The cows are now community property, but tended by individual farm families who will sell the milk not consumed by their family. A good dairy cow can produce four gallons of milk a day, and the additional income supplements what the farmers make from their crops. 

The animal's first offspring is passed on to another cooperative farmer family, then they also agree to pass on an animal, and so on.

Livestock is a key part of rebuilding the family farm economy of Haiti, where animals have long been used as a kind of savings account. They produce income on an ongoing basis, but when extra funding is needed for school fees or other expenses, they are sold.  

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