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Haiti - Social : Food prices in 2016, gloomy prospects...
14/03/2016 10:42:23

Haiti - Social : Food prices in 2016, gloomy prospects...
In its latest bulletin, the National Coordination for Food Security (CNSA) said that unlike 2014 where access to food had greatly improved, due to a significant drop in prices, in 2015 things have been very complicated, with the significant drop in agricultural production, the unbridled depreciation of the gourde against the US dollar and the Dominican peso and the impact of the socio-political crisis.

On the various markets, the price of food imported and local products have increased and the cost of the basic food basket increased in 2015 by nearly 10% on average compared to 2014, while food prices and raw materials continued to fall on the international market.

The CNSA stresses that the situation is even worse with the low economic growth recorded during the 2014/2015 financial year (1.7%), or 1.1 percentage points less compared to the previous year (2.8%), coupled with a decline of over 3% of agricultural production (4% for cereals according to FAO). At this rate, the struggle to improve living conditions, particularly for food security is far from being won. In fact, by modeling the various existing structural and economic parameters, we are led to evidence that at least an income growth per capita of 5 percent per year would result in a reduction in the proportion of food insecure people by 10% by 2020. However, this would require an annual growth of over 7% in a serene social and political climate economic and social progress for the benefit of the greatest number.

Food prices prospect for 2016 according to CNSA :
In 2016, if we refer to the data, the conditions for an improvement in the next 6 months, are not yet met among others :

  • Prices of basic foodstuffs (local) will likely continue on the rise, 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 dollar against the gourde, unless our national currency appreciates, in a context of economic recovery and socio-political stability. What still takes time to influence food prices down. In this regard, improved access to basic foods is not for tomorrow. But access to food is one of the fundamental conditions for food security in the specific context of Haiti ;

  • 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 very 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 still marked by turbulence related to the elections. These disorders have already contributed to the increase in food prices in 2015, slowing the movement of people and goods. In addition, the possible installation of a new Head of State will be followed by a period of political consultations and observation to form a future government. The international donors as well as local and other investors, will remain in expectation of clear signals from the new President and government, to better guide and optimize their interventions.

It is important to remember that, although necessary, price stabilization measures and the exchange can not be sufficient to improve access to food, because if people do not have purchasing power or that the latter is too low, they will be unable to access the market, moreover, despite the contraction of local agricultural production, all markets are well supplied with foodstuffs, so the problem of availability is no longer posed underlines the CNSA.

HL/ HaitiLibre

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