Something a little different: forestry in Haiti

Well first a disclaimer, I’m using the term “forest” somewhat loosely, many Haitian trees are associated with food as much as with timber, e.g. coconut palm, mango, banana/plantain, coffee, and also timber species + food species + agronomic crops often found growing all together. Grand’Anse Department is the most (relatively) unspoiled part of Haiti, i.e. not yet badly deforested:


A small harvest: my friend Johnny hacking open a coconut with his machete, and my wife Louise-Marie enjoying a drink:


We spent a few weeks teaching plant pathology (especially tree pathology) and microbiology; here’s the pathology class, and some diagnosis of soilborne and foliar pathogens, and observing coffee borer grubs under the microscope we brought along. All of these students have entomology or pathology projects on mango, coconut palm, citrus, etc., that we’ll keep consulting on via email, we also hope to recruit one or two prospective grad students to study at University of Idaho. These are all fourth-year university students who will be finishing soon.


And for harvest-oriented folks, here’s a fairly typical small woodworking facility (photo taken on Sunday so it’s closed for the day), most processing (including sawing boards from sawlogs, not shown) is done by hand.


Did some cholera/malaria/dengue/anthrax/ascariasis-related teaching too, but that’s a subject for a different blog…    -Guy

1 thought on “Something a little different: forestry in Haiti”

  1. How many million feet a year from that facility?

    Seriously, I was surprised to see you found any forests at all, given the firewood problem. And it’s not like they have excess biomass to process for energy.


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