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Haiti - Agriculture : FAO to the rescue of rural populations
11/01/2011 09:48:17

Haiti - Agriculture : FAO to the rescue of rural populations
"More than half of Haiti's population [between five and six million people] resides in rural areas and about 80% of the rural population is engaged in agriculture and livestock. The sector represents about 26% of the Haitian economy, making of the agriculture the largest employer in the country" FAO said yesterday in a statement "The earthquake proved to be an unprecedented urban tragedy with a massive national impact: the destruction of the capital and the disruption of economic infrastructure was seriously affected rural areas".

Before the earthquake of January 2010, Haiti was considered in a situation of prolonged crisis, with 57% of the population undernourished and an alarming level of the Global Hunger Index, which is 28 points, says FAO.

After the earthquake, FAO and the World Food Programme (WFP) have jointly undertaken an assessment mission of the crop and food security. For 2010, the total of the production of cereals, legumes, tubers and plantains was respectively decreased by 9%, 20%, 12% and 1%. However, for the period January to June, the overall food situation has improved, thanks to food assistance, the resumption of agricultural activities supported by the distribution of fertilizer and seeds, access to income generating activities.

During the planting seasons of spring and summer (April to October), FAO has been able to helping 204.501 households (approximately 1 million beneficiaries) around the country, both in rural areas than in urban areas, through the distribution of seeds, tools and fertilizers. FAO was able to assist farm families of farms located in areas affected by the earthquake, the distribution of 1.254 tonnes of leguminous, 970 tonnes of cereals (corn and sorghum), 8.4 million of roots and tubers for the cultivation of starchy, 100,000 banana plants, 15.5 tonnes of vegetable seeds, 677.517 farm tools, 9.345 tons of fertilizer and 170 tons of compost. More than 17,000 households have benefited from the intervention of the FAO, through its support program for urban culture in Port-au-Prince, Carrefour, Gressier, Fonds-Parisien, Croix-des-Bouquets and Léogâne. In these territories, the FAO has provided 100 water pumps, 1,000 tons of fertilizer and almost 9.600 kg of vegetable seeds.

For FAO, the objective is still to support affected populations in rural areas so that they can restore their livelihoods; facilitate the integration and restoration of displaced populations and develop emergency response in food security.

HL/ S/ FAO

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