HAFF Staff Serves the Community
Millius Hilaire is HAFF’s Ag Extension agent and a trained veterinary agent. He is the coordinator of the Financial and Agricultural Projects for Farmer Groups program. That program includes HAFF’s Give-a-Goat program and provides lumber, charcoal, and fruit trees. Because HAFF employs him and he is not entirely dependent on his farming and veterinary income, he is available to work with various Haitian government projects. Millius has long been involved in government livestock vaccination campaigns locally.
More recently the Haitian government collaborating with another non-governmental agency has chosen him for a program to help the most vulnerable, the handicapped and the elderly by providing them goats to raise. Millius provides oversight to the project after the participants receive their goats.
On the 12th of June, 10 participants chosen by the program each received 2 female goats and 1 male goat, 3 sacks of cement, 5 sheets of roofing metal, nails and 2 types of grass seed. The building materials are to make a small, fenced pen to keep the goats in at night. The participants each had to have enough land to raise the grass for the goats. Millius did not choose the participants, but some of them are in one of Millius’ farmer groups.
The program provides training in goat raising and in soil conservation and reforestation. The participants have already had 2 training sessions on raising goats. The people from the program will return later for the soil conservation and reforestation training.
The participants have sadly already lost 3 goats. One participant lost the male and one of the females given. Another had a goat stolen in broad daylight while the owner was helping at another farm. The goats given were also much smaller (just weaned) than those HAFF’s Give-a-Goat program gives.
The grass seed given was also not best suited for the area. One variety doesn’t grow well in the area as it requires too much water. The other variety tends to spread into areas it is not wanted. Hopefully the goats will be able to keep it under control.
Millius is to follow up with the participants for 5 years. The program does not provide medicines or vaccines. Thankfully, he, can fill in that part and, can be on call for sick or injured animals.