Supporting livestock health and improving dairy production in Haiti

Supporting livestock health and improving dairy production in Haiti

03/04/2018

In Haiti, access to veterinary services is vital, as livestock production is a main source of income. However, these services are generally expensive or simply unavailable in rural areas. In October 2016, the situation was aggravated by Hurricane Matthew, which caused widespread damage to the livestock sector in the country’s southwest.

In 2017, FAO mobile veterinary clinics diagnosed, treated and gave preventive care to 21 000 livestock of 7 000 hurricane- and drought-affected families in southern Haiti (in South and Grand’Anse departments).

Each mobile clinic comprised a FAO veterinarian and a FAO-trained Ministry of Agriculture technician, who conducted animal health assessments and provided preventive care and treatment. They were assisted by trained local veterinary agents, and each clinic was stocked with antibiotics, deworming medication, multivitamins and equipment.

FAO established three permanent veterinary pharmacies, managed by the associations of producers and of veterinary agents, and supervised by ministry technicians. Although veterinary clinics will continue in 2018, livestock owners will pay for services to build a revolving fund for the pharmacies.

Improved availability of and access to veterinary services contributed to rehabilitating dairy production. The milk produced by healthy livestock and delivered to the Torbeck dairy farm increased from 950 litres in November 2016 to 3 600 gallons in August 2017 – generating a monthly income of USD 158 for each milk producer.