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Thursday, October 2, 2014
Love A Child launches chicken cooperative farm in Haiti
Love A Child Inc. hosted a dedication ceremony for the new Poul Mirak Chicken (Miracle Chicken) Cooperative Farm at Gwo Mache Mirak in Fond Parisien, Haiti on September 17. At the ceremony, a newly expanded sustainability program backed by the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC) International Poultry Development Program.
The program is expected to produce a unique source of sustainable income and nutrition for Haitian families in the region.
On hand for the dedication ceremony were representatives from the USAPEEC, Haitian dignitaries, customs officials, management from Haiti Broilers and administrative staff members from Love A Child, a non-profit Christian humanitarian organization serving the needs of children in Haiti.
One of eight interconnected sustainability initiatives developed by Love A Child, the Poul Mirak project is composed of nine chicken coop buildings. Each chicken house will hold about 500 chickens that will be raised by the newly trained cooperative members. The chickens will grow to maturity in only six weeks and the goal is to sell at least 500 each week at the Gwo Mache Mirak marketplace.
In a country where nearly 50 percent of the food is imported and 80 percent live below the poverty line, families often struggle to survive on around US$2 a day. The positive impact of Poul Mirak could be transformative. Having successfully operated a smaller chicken co-op program in 2013, where the farmers raised and sold 500 chickens within six weeks and profited around US$1.39 from the sale of each chicken, this newly expanded initiative supplies an increased opportunity for meaningful employment at living wages.
“Not only will Poul Mirak offer locals in the community of Fond Parisien an opportunity to buy fresh, protein-rich food, but it will also provide a new model for sustainability in Haiti that shows the world how chicken cooperatives can produce sustained economic results,” said Bobby Burnette, founder and director of Love A Child.
Funded through grants from the USAPEEC International Poultry Development Program, Mike Welch, and Larry Guest, as well as gifts from Love A Child partners, the chicken co-op will provide more than just a stable source of income for the chicken farmers. There are five cooperative members who together will bear all the responsibility for operating costs, labor and share in the profits. The five co-op members have received training and ongoing mentorship will also be provided from personnel of Harrison Poultry, Bethlehem, Georgia; and from the Love A Child missionary staff. Through ongoing mentorship, the program is expected to continue to grow as a resource for helping Haitians break the cycle of poverty for the long term.
Additional sustainability initiatives developed by Love A Child include an agricultural training center, edible plant nursery, life skills training, financial services, and reforestation projects.