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Haiti - Agriculture : Improving food security with spring harvests
02/08/2017 09:41:00

Haiti - Agriculture : Improving food security with spring harvests
Food security in Haiti is expected to improve with spring harvests and associated price declines.

Early indications suggest agricultural production in the spring of 2017 around the average, with cumulative rainfall around or below average. However, the season was marked by floods in April/May, droughts in May/June, and late start which will likely affect harvests in some areas.

Heavy and well-distributed rains across the country mark the first agricultural season of 2017, which provides nearly 60% of annual production in Haiti. Cumulative rainfall was average in most of the country and was above average in the south-west part of the departments of Grand'Anse and South. Remote sensing and field reports indicate that the season started one to two weeks in advance, except in parts of the High Plateau, Nippes, Northeast and Northwest where field reports indicate late rains.

In general, the rains favor the development of the main spring crops, including especially corn and beans, although in some places caused flooding and crop losses. Maize in particular is still the seasonal crop that has benefited most from these climatic conditions. Farmers sowed it in near-average proportions in the agro-ecological zones of the country where rains started in February and March, although the expected input support this year has not been met some regions.

It should be noted that most of the aid for this spring campaign was concentrated in areas affected by Hurricane Matthew, such as the Great South and part of the Northwest. In other regions, farmers were themselves faced with the scarcity and high cost of seeds, which had a negative impact on the areas cultivated in the Nippes, Haut Plateau, Haut Artibonite and North-East.

However, in maize-growing areas, maize is growing very well and is currently at an advanced heading stage. This is the case for the departments of the South, South-East, Grand'Anse, Artibonite (mountain zone), North and North-East. In areas where planting was started in February, green maize harvesting is underway (Bas Plateau, South), and even in the Artibonite valley, where harvests were higher than the production of a normal year. For other regions, the current development of this crop suggests good harvests. This is particularly evident in the northeast and Nippes, where the cessation of rains from the end of May to the first dekad of June almost compromised the plantations which had to undergo, at an important stage of their development, a huge water deficit. But with the precipitation of May and June, these plantations were able to overlap. It should also be pointed out that in areas where seasonal rains have been late, such as Nippes (in particular at Arnaud, Grand Boukan, Petite Rivière de Nippes), Haut Plateau, North-West, seeding operations have started end of May and are continued throughout the month of June.

HL/ HaitiLibre

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