Haiti - Agriculture : The national production of rice does not exceed 25% of the needs !
In his speech, Jean Jocelyn recalled the importance of the Valley of Artibonite on the agricultural level. "Of the 70,000 hectares of irrigated land in the country, 32,000 are located in the Valley of Artibonite. Considering the small irrigated perimeters, 55% of the irrigated land in the country, ie 44,000 hectares are in this department [...]"
To address the problems related to the sustainable increase in rice production in the Artibonite Valley, Jean stressed the need for reform within the ODVA and the obligation to support farmers in providing agricultural inputs. In addition, he hoped that the Government would give ODVA the necessary means to fulfill its mission.
For his part, Minister Angrand quoted some statistical data from the rice sector to expose to the new Director the challenges "Annual consumption of rice is around 520,000 metric tons, yet national production is only 120,000 metric tons [...] With an average price of $450 per tonne, excluding transportation and insurance costs, these imports represent $180 million per year, which represents a significant burden on Haiti's trade balance," encouraging new Director General to work towards better targeting of groups and work areas and to achieve better synergy between partners' actions for better coordination of rice production programs.
To increase rice production, the Minister advocates a redesign and revitalization of the ODVA. He encourages Jocelyn Jean to maintain good relations with local authorities, parliamentarians of Artibonite, other ministries, including the Ministry of Public Works, the Ministry of Economy, NGOs, donors, farmers' organizations and other partners to discuss issues and work together to find appropriate and sustainable solutions.