LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Feb. 13, 2012) Heifer International is deepening its work in Haiti this month, with a visit by its President and CEO, Pierre Ferrari, and the opening of a new goat-breeding center. The $30,000 breeding center will house about 100 animals, which will be used to fortify local goat stock.
Ferrari will be in Haiti from Feb. 15-22, to preview Heifer Haiti's new REACH project, or Rural Entrepreneurs for Agricultural Cooperation in Haiti. The $18.7 million project will target more than 20,000 families in Haiti, working with goats, cattle, poultry, pigs and other agricultural inputs. The project will focus on moving families from hunger to self-sufficiency and further into small business development.
The new goat-breeding center, administered by the farmers' association Tet Kole, was built as part of Heifer's umbrella project for earthquake recovery. In addition to producing animals, it will help train farmers in animal husbandry, business development and management. The center being opened on Feb. 16 is a model for other breeding centers that will be created under REACH.
The REACH project will create 150 smaller goat- and pig-breeding centers to increase the supply of quality animals in specific regions of Haiti. At least one-third of the centers will be run by women (or women associations), as part of Heifer's commitment to the empowerment of all small farmers, especially women.
"Stopgap relief work can only go so far in a place, like Haiti, where rural poverty is deeply entrenched," said Pierre Ferrari, President and CEO of Heifer International. "What's needed now is a mechanism for small-scale farmers to become self-reliant. Haiti's communities are fully capable of crafting their own prosperity through fundamental, small-scale farmer-friendly structural change. That is where Heifer International can help."
In addition to inaugurating the new breeding center, Ferrari will visit projects, meet with government officials and other international NGOs. He will be accompanied by Oscar Castañeda, Vice President of Heifer's Americas program.