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Haiti - Agriculture : Update of the projections of food security until June 2012
02/04/2012 14:37:42

Haiti - Agriculture : Update of the projections of food security until June 2012
All crops of cereals and pulses planned for the first quarter of 2012 are nearing completion. They are around the average in most parts of the country. Vegetable crops, also in the averages, continue in the irrigated areas, particularly in the Artibonite Valley, the plains of St. Raphael, and some parts of the department of west and south-east where vegetable crops are practiced

The second major rice harvest in the Artibonite start in April. But it will be below average, as rice farmers have had access to less than 50% of the amount of fertilizer needed to develop this culture. Small rice farmers who had to cultivate less land than usual, or applied less fertilizer will record a decline in their purchasing power throughout the second quarter. The cost of local rice production is very high and is very uncompetitive compared to imported rice who is sold more cheaply.

The great spring growing season will begin in the early rainfall received in March / April. Until the beginning of March, the country had received a pluviometry who remained below of the average of recent years, thus preserving a water deficit throughout most of the northern region. A lag of precipitation of about two months, recorded in the spring of 2011, has delayed planting and extended the lean season throughout most of the northern region. A delay is observed again this year in the Northeast, the Northwest and in many municipalities of the Department of North drought-stricken. Planting of corn, peas unknown and rice could not take place for lack of water. If this situation continues, the crops of peas unknown and bananas, expected between May and June will not occur, with adverse consequences on the purchasing power of households.

April marks the beginning of the lean season which will run until June. The traditional coping mechanisms are already or will be initiated during the month of April. Among these means: migration to look for jobs in other areas or even outside the country, the production of coal, borrowing at usurious rates. More and more young people are adopting new strategies such as: motorcycle-taxi drivers or sellers of phone cards. In the North-west particularly, the pressure on wood resources will be even more pronounced during this period in order not only to raise money for food but also to buy agricultural inputs necessary for the conduct of the spring growing season.

There are indications that there will be no great fluctuation in market prices during the lean season. Only pulses show a rising trend in the markets of Cap-Haitien, Hinche and Jérémie largely due to low production of beans in some areas of the country, and the increased demand on the eve of the opening of the spring growing season. Much of beans harvested in February / March will be used as seeds in the wet hills in March and April. For example, in Hinche, it is sold at 175 gourdes the pot of six pounds in February against 166 gourdes in December 2011, resulting in an increase of 5 percent. However, a price decline is expected in May and June following the harvest of beans in the spring. However, certain factors such as an increase of the fuel price at the pump or an increase in the dollar against the gourd may alter the price of food.

This information is an update of the Food Security Outlook, published in October 2011, who estimated food security conditions in Haiti until the end of March 2012.


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