Testimonies from Haiti

The Minister of Agriculture

The earthquake had impact on: - Indirectly touched sectors – Availability and needs for food - Areas of consumption/supply. This implies coordination between the actions in progress and a good assessment of needs. IFAD is an essential partner in the agricultural sector to consolidate the assets, to meet the short-term needs. Approximately 1.5 million people left the urban areas: return to the areas to join families - or not - and they will be then in competition with the already established people.

Actions will be taken to reinforce the capacity of integration to develop employment (a joint and concerted action of the government is necessary) – A programme has been worked out by the Government with FAO & IICA for 600 million US$ over 18 months. The farming season of March produces approximately 60% of consumption: we are thus at a key stage of food security in the country. Another medium-term programme (5 years) will be elaborated.

Anthony Dessources - Director PPI-II

150.000 died, 50.000 wounded, almost 1.000.000 of moved. There is no direct impact on the rural sector. Only the migration will have effects on the number of people per household, between 3 and 5 people moreover, which will thus pass from 5 to 10 people). The emergency will last 3 to 6 months. But of medium and long term actions are necessary to preserve the structure of the rural areas and the capacity to produce of agriculture. Some evaluations are still missing but between 20 and 25.000 persons moved in the western northern zone.

Jean-Marie Bisserette CEHPAPE
The Communes of Gressier (District of Port-au-Prince), of Léogane, Small-Goâve and Large Goâve (District of Léogane) located in the Department of the West were seriously touched. The indicators of the OCHA show that these above communes were seriously affected by the seism.
Before the earthquake, 10 irrigated perimeters adding up a surface of 3352 ha, used by 7344 (users) families whose majority of them are organized in producers’ association. Irrigated perimeters contribute to ensure food security for these local populations and the populations of the metropolitan zone of Port-au-Prince.

Following the passage of the seism, farming systems of these rural areas were completely destroyed. Besides the assessments of thousands of dead and the collapse of good number of buildings, it is necessary to also note: the destruction of the natural habitats, the damage of the irrigation systems, the destruction of the rural roads and of the drinking water adduction. This catastrophic situation has very serious humane consequences. Moreover, the strong migrations of populations of the metropolitan zone of Port-au-Prince towards the neighbouring rural communes (an increase of approximately 20% of the local populations) worsen the situation of food safety already very precarious on the level of these zones.


Anonymous said…
The farming systems in Grand Goave, Petit Goave, and Leogane were indeed damaged by the Jan. 12 earthquake, but they were not "completely destroyed". It is important that more accurate and detailed information is distributed on the rural situation in the earthquake zone. Farmers are currently planting corn, beans, and pigeon peas in this area and need access to credit, tools, and seed.