Caribbean Harvest, a Haitian non-profit established by Dr. Val Abe, is a remarkable fish-farming program that has potential for long-term impact for thousands. The current plans have scaled the organization to increase fingerling production three fold, provided food security and sustainable incomes for nearly 400 families, and built Haiti’s first fish processing plant. 3W has partnered with Dr. Abe since May, 2010 through long-term organizational and financial support.
See a short documentary film on Time Magazine’s website.
The model originated with individual families receiving a starter kit ($1,500 value) containing a floating metal cage, 2,400 baby fish and a four-month supply of fish food. Caribbean Harvest’s staff taught the family how to raise the fish and provided ongoing weekly oversight. In just 4 months, fish were fully grown and sold in markets. Profits earned from the sale of the fish gave each family approximately $400 per harvest. This small cage model is still in operation, but Caribbean Harvest has also begun to utilize larger cages which are tended by employees from the community. The profit sharing mechanism, 15% of revenues, is then distributed to the community for community improvements like water and solar lighting; health clinics; school stipends; etc.
Our initial funding, in 2010, provided the start-up cages, fingerlings, and fish food for 60 families. Since then, 3W, together with the Social Enterprise Fund, have worked closely with Val to create a viable, self-sustainable “business” which can scale. Today, Caribbean Harvest is the largest hatchery in the Caribbean, with the equivalent of over 500 cages, and has Haiti’s first processing plant.
In the spirit of creating lasting economic opportunity and development in Haiti, we are also working with Dr. Abe to scale operations of both the non-profit and for-profit side of Caribbean Harvest. We have also taken an active role on the Board to help drive impact on the ground.