A piggery in Haiti, and how it creates livelihoods
Let me introduce you to Fiona.
Fiona is a nice, big, and sympathetic pig that I met in Haiti's Grande Anse department.
As an organization, we supported the setting up of a piggery more than 14 years ago. Upon a visit, we could see that it is still there, providing for the Grand Anse area population. The piggery still being there is not a given: Out of 24 piggeries that have been set up by organizations in the past years, only three are still functional. I think we owe that success to our approach and one of our partners, the Fondation Nouvelle Grande Anse (FNGA). Their support and professionalism made a real difference.
The piggery had been financed and supported by LWF in 2004. It was very innovative and responded to a real need to help farmers access well-bred pigs in this part of the country.
Haitians use pig meat a lot in their meals, particularly from May to November of the year. This meat is traditional during the Fête Champêtre (garden parties) and various other gatherings and events. Most people would get fried porc called griots here and friend plantain with pickles. Pig is part of one of the famous Haitian meals.
Fiona is a Cascon Chinois. This species is well adapted to Haiti and also to how farmers are growing pigs in general. Cascon Chinois don't get sick quickly in the Haitian rural environment, where veterinarians' access is a challenge.
Fiona is a model pig, which continues to reproduce. She had 18 piglets four months ago, and all survived. Farmers are keen to buy those piglets.
The piggery is located at the FNGA compound at Jérémie, the central city in the Grand Anse department. It holds more than 84 pigs and is functioning very well.
LWF supported the piggery until 2010. Today FNGA is still running it. It is a profitable enterprise that creates jobs for four people and produces more than 380 little pigs a year.
FNGA sells those pigs to the farmers, to NGOs that are buying for farmers in their programs and individuals and restaurants from Jérémie, the Grande Anse department's capital.
In 2010, NCA supported the installation of a biodigester next to the pig plant. The waste of the pigs was put into biodigester and transformed into methane gas and fertilizers. It worked until October 2016, when Hurricane Matthew flooded the whole area.
(The pigs swam over the river and later returned to the piggery.)
FNGA used to use the biodigester gas for cooking and the biodigester waste as compost or fertilizer for some of the farmers' gardens. The farmers appreciated the fertilizer and, on our visit, talked about the differences in their soil and how they had a better harvest in the future. FNGA is in the process of repairing the biodigester and is thinking about new strategies to manage it better (make it stormproof and get a better way to collect the methan gas) and use and sell, if necessary).
This project is an excellent testimony of the sustainability of the work carried out by LWF and NCA in this part of the world.
Fiona is an example of how well managed something creates more opportunities for the future.
Before leaving, I patted Fiona on her head; she liked it and approached the gates so I could continue. With a heavy heart (I couldn't think of a pig that is affectionate like that), I left the piggery thinking about the job well done by FNGA.
I want to express my gratitude to all LWF and NCA supporters who helped create this sustainable enterprise so crucial in the lives of thousands of people in Haiti.
LWF/ P. Raymond. Edited by LWF/ C. Kästner