Four Departments in Haiti Risk Falling in Food Crisis

According to the observation of the National Food Security Coordination (CNSA), during the period between April to September 2015, four departments in Haiti, namely, Southeast, Artibonite, North and Northwest my face acute food crisis due to the delay and shortage of rainfalls coupled with the threats of El Nino between April and June. A UN report on April 2014 had suggested that some 1.5 million people may continue to have severe food insecurity in Haiti, mostly as a result of drought and the impact of Hurricanes and storms.


Lack of rainfall often causes near total crop failure in Haiti's impoverished Artibonite, Northwest Department where over 40% of the households are considered food insecure. Bombardopolis, Anse-à-Galets, the upper Artibonite are facing dry periods for more than the last six months. The local farmers harvest 60% of their annual production during the spring time provided it had been watered sufficiently with rainfall and irrigation during the period of plantation and cultivation. Lack of production would further escalate the labor cost and food price higher. Some food species like sweet potato, yams and cassava are simultaneous sources of food and income. Some of the rice producing areas like Artibonite Valley, Saint Raphael and the Plain of Cayes, chemical fertilizers is available, but in very small quantities, a mere 8,000 metric tons annually which is about 25 to 30% of its requirement. The CNSA has estimated that there could be a 50% shortfall of agricultural production, resulting rise in the price of food products unless the situation is properly monitored, especially in the bottom Northwest and some cities in the Southeast where the state of the poor is truly miserable. Irrigation facilities should never entirely depend on rainfall or availability of water, the number of available tractors used in the operation should be more to call sufficient; it should be immediately increased from the present number of 12 in the whole region of the Artibonite Valley.

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