The Business of Birds
by Jenni (GO Fellow)
With GO, you hear a lot about ideas like “sustainability” and “transforming lives through orphan care.” Though these concepts are not altogether distant from one another, they unite in unique ventures that provide income for orphan care, but also open the door to increased levels of community involvement through employment and production of different resources.
Through God’s providence, GO is developing poultry farms in partnership with Haiti Broilers, part of the most successful poultry company in the Caribbean. Our pilot project – a chicken farm in Croix-des-Bouquets – is up and running.
The Meat of the Matter
Now chicken farming may not sound at all glamorous, and really it’s not, but God doesn’t always use glamorous things to show off. The truth is that Haitians consume a lot of chicken. But they don’t produce much of the chicken consumed.
While you may see some live birds in the market places of different areas, the majority of chicken sales are in legs and other “dumped” products imported into Haiti.
It’s vital that Haiti start producing for itself, instead of outsourcing food security to the international aid behemoth. Poultry is particularly strategic, in that poultry provides an efficient, affordable form of protein for children. Ministries like ours have an important role to play in developing this market: we can help Haitians produce, and encourage our donors to get behind the effort.
More than Just Feathers
The chicks are just one day old when they arrive on the farm and it takes a full six weeks of growth for them to reach the right size and maturity for sale. The new Croix-des-Bouquets farm is currently home to one hutch full of 400 yellow fuzz balls, that will soon be full grown birds. Our farm has the capacity to add 3 more hutches. That’s more than 1,600 birds in just one cycle! With a potential of 6 cycles per year, this farm has the capacity to produce nearly 10,000 birds per year. God willing, we will help facilitate a network of regional farms, like this, in Haiti.
What’s this got to do with “sustainable orphan care?” Three things:
- Profits: Such farms produce profits, all of which will go to pay for life costs of our children.
- Nutrition: Very soon we will ask givers, like you, to purchase chickens from the farm. Not to get. But to give. We want to process a good portion of these chickens to supplement the diet of children.
- Pathways: Little children become big children. Some of the older children in GO partner villages will learn poultry farming here, which will give them a very practical, promising life skill in a growing market.
Making Sustainability Fly
Soon we will be reaching out to have you help us grow our sustainability ventures, like this farm. And to rally your circles to buy chickens from the farm for the kids. Stay tuned!
What a blessing to serve a God who is intentional and mindful of us, who moves on our behalf, as we seek to serve Him globally.