Goal: Development of an aquaculture farm for growing tilapia to help remedy the protein-deficient diet.
On May13th, 2012, Daniel Desronvil, Bernadin Joseph and Rosedanie Cadet of Helping Hands Noramise arrive in Leogane, Haiti to participate in a 10 day aquaculture workshop, hosted by Dr Arrielle Adrien of Kiskeya Ferme. The instuctors included Dr Abe Valentin, of Caribbean Harvest and Digicel enterpreneur of the year; Marine Biologist William Mebane of Marine Biological Laboratory, Wood Holes MA, and Mike Pachetti of Operations Blessings in Santo Haiti.
Amongst the participants were members of various Haitian organizations from the Artibonite Valley, Central Plateau and Les Cayes, as well as individuals looking to improve their diet and economic situation thru the development of aquaculture in Haiti.
Our team learned about fish biology, specifically tilapia, but also carp, trout and catfish. What equipment, vigilance and financial cost of aquaculture, whether for a hatchery, market production or for home consumption. The participants visited Dr Valentin’s facility, which is mainly devoted to providing fry for new ponds and research, CODEP in Leogane which provides thousands of fry for small pond systems in the mountain regions of southern Haiti, Operation Blessings, whose focus is raising the production level of tilapia in Haiti to not only provided the much needed protein in the Haitian diet, but also jobs.
Midway through the workshop, we visited a nearby family wanting to build a pond system to feed some 30 members. At the end of our visit, a suitable site was identified and work has begun on the design and cost estimate of the pond. Dr Adrien will try to find funding for the construction of the pond and the family will be adding some of their own funds as well as supplying the labor force for the the work.
One of the best things that came out of this workshop is a tilapia resource network formed by those attending. This will be a resource that all members will be able to draw from and assist each other in realizing their goals in aquaculture.
We want to take this opportunity to thank Dr Arrielle, the instructors and all the other participants for their time and sharing of ideas. A special thanks to all the supporters, without whose financial help we would have not been able to attend this productive workshop.
With the knowledge gained from this workshop, the HHN team will now be able to give the Masabiel farmers association the technical support needed to continue the construction of their ponds. The director of Fish and Wildlife from the Ministry of agriculture has promised to provide a team to help with the supervision of the construction, as well as donated the initial stock for the ponds.
However, the cost of the workshop has eaten away the bulk of the funds of construction and HHN and the Farmer’s association are still trying to raise the $1,750 needed to complete the project.
The Masabiel Farmer’s Association of Limbe’ has a site for the ponds and has begun work on this project but needs help with planning and execution, including materials.
Progress: Board member Steve Diepenbrock is formulating a plan to assist the Masabiel Farmer’s Association in Limbe’ in outlining equipment needed and associated cost/budgets in order for us to raise additional funds to move forward.
15 Nov.: Steve has made contact with a group in Woodshole, MA who have a low cost, low impact aquaculture project in S. Haiti which may be an appropriate model.