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Haiti - Agriculture : «An improvement in access to basic foods is not for tomorrow»
18/01/2016 11:01:47

Haiti - Agriculture : «An improvement in access to basic foods is not for tomorrow»
In its latest bulletin, the National Coordination for Food Security (CNSA) of the Ministry of Agriculture, wonders in this beginning of year 2016, if the situation of economic access to food, will alleviate or deteriorate over the next six months, while the conditions for improvement are not completely satisfied... The CNSA explains :

  • Prices of basic foodstuffs (local) are likely to maintain rising, this until the next harvest. If the harvest of spring 2016 is not successful, we must expect a continuous increase in prices ;
  • Prices of imported goods will remain at a high level, due to the rising of dollar against the gourde. Unless the latter appreciates somewhat, from a perspective of economic recovery and socio-political stability. Which still take time to influence food prices downward. In this respect, improved access to basic foods is not for tomorrow...
  • For this new year, at least for the first half of 2016, a sharp increase in food insecurity, therefore the number of people who will be affected, is plausible. Indeed, in the absence of a well-articulated and targeted response plan, the number of people in crisis and stress could reach 1.5 million in the month of June 2016 ;
  • The socio-political environment is marked by turbulence arising from the elections. These disorders have contributed to plomber further the food prices in 2015 by slowing the movement of people and goods. In addition, the possible installation of a new President at the head of Haiti, will be followed by a period of political consultations and observation to form a possible government. The international donors and local and other investors, will remain awaiting clear signals from the new Head of State and Government in order to guide and optimize their interventions.

The CSA notes that although necessary, the stabilization of prices and exchange measures are not sufficient to improve access to food, " Because as we have seen in 2014, despite the improvement, following the significant decline in prices of basic food products, the majority of the population did not actually felt. And we indicated that the weakness or absence of income would justify such a perception."

Adding "[...] we will have to stabilize prices and increase agricultural production if the people have no purchasing power, or the latter is insufficient, they can not access the market."

According to the projection model of food security CNSA, "to improve the availability of basin products, including cereals, it would be necessary to increase the yield of crops like rice, maize and sorghum by acting on factors such as agricultural inputs and especially production technology.At the same time, it is necessary to promote the consumption of roots and tubers to reduce dependence on food imports cereals, increasingly predominant in the Haitian consumption. Moreover, to ensure access to food, it is also necessary to take action in order to increase income or purchasing power of individuals. Such measures could include, among other things, the stability of the macroeconomic environment through monetary and fiscal policy instruments. In fact, according to our model, growth in per capita income of 5% per year would result in a reduction in the proportion of 10% in food insecurity by 2020. But
this would require an annual growth of over 7%, this in a serene sociopolitical climate for economic and social progress for the benefit of the greatest number
."

HL/ HaitiLibre

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