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Haiti - Agriculture : Harvest of spring crops expected to be below average
08/07/2011 10:08:59

Haiti - Agriculture : Harvest of spring crops expected to be below average
The rains which generally come by the end of March, did not begin until the middle of April in certain departments such as Sud-Est, Nord-Est, Ouest and Nord-Ouest. Production from the spring harvest, which typically provides 60% of annual agricultural production, is expected to be below average, reports the Famine Early Warning System (FES NET) and have consequences on the situation of food security.

With the dwindling supplies of locally grown crops, a 9.5% increase in food prices- excepting rice-and a continued rise of the inflation rate on the local markets since October 2010, the purchasing power of low income families has declined. Coping mechanisms adopted by vulnerable households include the reduction in the number of daily meals, food portions and dietary diversity, explains the Food Cluster.

Recent rains have been beneficial to farming activities but have also triggered outbreaks of water related disease such as malaria and cholera. This, in turn, will have an impact on the food security situation. Affected households are likely to be less productive and spend their meagre financial resources on health expenditures, says FEWS NET. The network adds that poor households living in camps are most vulnerable to the impact of flooding, and are expected to face moderate to severe Stressed and Crisis levels of food insecurity during June and July, until the spring harvest in August and September.

In preparation for the hurricane season, the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development (MARNDR), the Coordination nationale de la sécurité alimentaire (CNSA), in coordination with FAO and other partners, are developing a contingency plan for rural flood prone areas. The plan will focus on limiting the impact of a natural disaster on livestock and crops so that production can resume quickly.

HL/ HaitiLibre

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