APPROACH AND METHODOLOGY
This project is designed to improve economic opportunities of 20,250 rural households in Haiti by using Heifer International's proven approach to sustainable development. Rather than simply distributing livestock, this project will train agricultural entrepreneurs who will further invest in their own community capacity building and develop related business opportunities to have far-reaching impacts. A key element to Heifer's approach is the concept of 'Passing on the Gift' whereby each project participant who receives livestock, agrees to pass on the first female offspring (livestock) and training they have received to another member of his or her community. In this way, Heifer doubles the project impact in a sustainable and equitable manner. The project will include:
- Enhancing community-based organizations to better participate in fair and equitable markets. Heifer Haiti will work with local community based organizations to increase cooperation and foster meaningful impact. By working closely with community members and groups, and creating synergies amongst the different actors in the value chain, this project stands to succeed, despite current difficulties on the ground in Haiti.
- Livestock improvement, eco-husbandry training, and seeds for crop production - Local animals will be crossed with improved breeds, creating more meaty/revenue-generating animals; farmer training in improved crop production (and the provision of seed for new crops) and eco-husbandry will be carried out using 'training the trainer' methodology with technical expertise from Heifer staff.
- Micro-business formation - Establishment of community breeding centers by training 'agent of change' farmers in accounting, marketing and financing (goal: local production replaces animal imports).
- Strengthening the Livestock Value Chain: The 'value chain' approach will be used to identify higher value livestock markets for producers to supply and obtain higher prices. Relationships among the different value-chain actors will be strengthened to ensure long-term sustainability. Value-added products will also be identified (meat, cheese, eggs, etc.) as additional sources of income.
Project cross-cutting themes:
Women First: Prioritizing women's skill development as the principal caretakers and vendors of livestock, while remaining sensitive to their time constraints and workloads.
Youth Focus: Providing opportunities for youth to achieve sustainable livelihoods in rural areas and revitalize Haiti's aging countryside.
Environmental Stewardship: Training will emphasize sustainable resource management (grass, forage and water) and use zero-grazing techniques in order to reduce the environmental hoof-print of livestock.
Risk Management: Training will emphasize concrete measures to strengthen participants' ability to mitigate, respond to and recover from natural disasters.
Monitoring and Evaluation
Heifer's project monitoring and evaluation will be based on the metrics outlined in the commitment to action (e.g. number of people with new job opportunities, etc.), and through community participatory monitoring. Heifer will compile semi-annual financial and programmatic reports every 6 months. Baseline survey data specific to beneficiary groups will be collected at project inception. A mid-term review (months 30-34) and a final evaluation (months 55-60) will be conducted by Heifer and the implementing partners
IMPLEMENTATION, TIMELINE, AND DELIVERABLES
Heifer Haiti will work with key stakeholders (farming families, aid organizations, producers' associations, and local officials) over a period of 5 years to rehabilitate the livestock-based livelihoods and strengthen the resiliency of 20,250 farming households in the Nord-Ouest (Northwest), Nord-Est (Northeast), Centre (Central Plateau), Nippes, Grand-Anse and Sud-Est (Southeast) departments. The project will be implemented over a period of five years and in three consecutive and overlapping phases to ensure all aspects are integrated. This project will build in a flexible implementation plan, to ensure Heifer Haiti can be responsive to the outcomes of the value chain analysis, and to maintain Heifer's methodology of a fully participatory approach.
Year 1 and 2: The first phase will be dedicated to the technical training of 120 Community Health Workers (vet agents) who will then help train 20, 250 farmers in animal husbandry and business management by project end. While the initial goat sub-sector is launched, the construction of breeding centers (goat and pig) and the eventual establishment of pilot programs (poultry) and dairies infrastructure (cattle) will take place; these activities will follow a value chain analysis that will identify market constraints, improve market opportunities, and ensure a robust project with significant impact.
Years 2-5: The second phase will be dedicated to farmer training - comprehensive training in animal health and nutrition, crop production, breeding, environmental management and disaster preparedness. This phase will also include a focus on increasing the production of the subsectors, tree-planting activities, and the development of forage and feed production. This phase will include scaling up of animal distribution to rural households to replenish their livelihood assets.
Years 3-5: The third phase will be dedicated to developing processing infrastructures, rural infrastructures such as community slaughterhouses, commercialization, follow up and monitoring activities.
Animal Distribution will occur in several rolling phases: Years 1-5: Goat distribution; Year 2-5: Cattle;
Year 3-5: Poultry; Year 4-5: Pigs.
By Project End - Result 1: Improved livelihood and reduced vulnerability of targeted rural households.
- 65% increase in household revenue by project end, with 106% increase over baseline after one additional year.
- 120 community animal health workers are trained in animal husbandry (40 of whom are women), with 80% scoring 75% or better on skills test and 120 veterinary health kits are produced.
- 20,250 farmers are trained in livestock management, with 80% scoring 60% or better on final skills test
- Locally-adapted animals (inc. improved males) are sourced and distributed
- 100,000 trees are planted, resulting in a decrease in soil erosion (helped by farmers increasing vegetable coverage on their land.
By Project End - Result 2: Greater economic opportunities and assured supply of quality animals
- 300 full-time jobs created
- 150 farmers and entrepreneurs selected to establish breeding centers
- 80% of breeding center facilities showing adequate management
- 80% of breeding centers using a min. of seven sustainable livestock management and breeding techniques
- 150 breeding centers built and stocked, and operators trained in breeding and business management
- 90% decrease in offspring mortality over baseline in breeding centers
- 150 businesses created through animal sales
By Project End - Result 3: Better market opportunities and food security for participant households
- Livestock value chain analyzed with one report on each subsector produced detailing new marketing opportunities
- Breeding center operators and farmers receive support for sale of animals and animal products in local markets.
- 70% of farmers sell their goats in the market by project end
- Farming households have improved crop production for improved nutrition and food security
By Project End - Result 4: Established local technical services to improve competitiveness of livestock sector
- Alliances between all stakeholders and actors in the livestock value chain developed.
- Animal health campaign with government entities launched
- Establishment of network of all Community Animal Health Worker
Rural Haitians struggle to survive as farmers under challenging conditions - meager yields due to infertile soils and lack of quality inputs, restricted access to markets because of poor roads and low production quality, and ill health due to high disease rates and limited health services. Even prior to the earthquake, which weakened already anemic rural communities, these conditions had condemned a majority of the population to abject poverty. In March 2010, Heifer International deployed a team to carry out a five-month post-earthquake assessment. Their findings were compiled in the Strategic Guidelines for Heifer's Intervention in Haiti. The assessment revealed that almost every rural household in Haiti rears at least one form of livestock, primarily goats, cattle, pigs, and poultry. Because livestock plays such a vital role in the Haitian rural economy, it is a critical part of post-earthquake economic reconstruction in the rural areas. Indeed, livestock constitutes 30% of Haiti's agricultural production and 26% of its GDP. Despite the widespread ownership of livestock in Haiti, most farmers do not receive training in animal husbandry, resulting in lower yielding animals that are susceptible to disease and death and reduce profitability. Even though meat, dairy products, eggs and poultry are popular, domestic production does not meet local demand, nor does it capitalize on the enormous potential for export to the Dominican Republic market. Compounding these issues, severe livestock losses from recent disasters not only de-capitalized farmers, but also further reduced their capacity to produce food for family and domestic conception.
At the micro level, livestock constitutes a critical savings account that can be liquidated to pay for household expenses such as food, seeds, school fees and medical emergencies. According to the IFAD, livestock plays a key role as part of an integrated farming system, providing draught power and fertilizer to increase agricultural productivity. Animals also are used to improve nutrition by supplying human diets with animal-based protein such as meat, milk, and eggs. Livestock are a vital asset for rural households that allow them to weather shocks and to recover quickly. According to Mamadou Baro (2002), such resilience is critical for food security.
Heifer International is seeking financial resources, implementing partners and best practice information to implement REACH, an $18.7 million project that works with farming families, aid organizations, producers, municipalities, public-private sector partnerships and others to rehabilitate and strengthen the crop- and livestock-based livelihoods of 20,250 vulnerable farming households in Haiti's Northwest, Northeast, Nippes, Grand Anse, Central Plateau and Southeast regions.