HAITI* (9 February)
Planting of the 2005 first season maize and paddy crop, to be harvested in July-August, has started in rainfed highlands of Central and Northern departments and in irrigated lowlands of the southern department of Grand Anse. Aggregate maize crop production for 2004/05 marketing year (July/June) is estimated at 220 000 tonnes, some 10 percent higher than the previous year due to increased planted area and favourable weather conditions in the main season. However, in South and North-West departments, second season maize, sorghum and bean crops were negatively affected by dry weather conditions during last months of the year. Paddy production continues to decline as a consequence of continuous reduction of plantings and yields due to increasing drainage problems and lack of maintenance of the irrigation infrastructure. Aggregate paddy output in 2004 is estimated at low 90 000 tonnes.
Import requirements for marketing year 2004/05 (July/June) are expected to be about 300 000 tonnes of wheat and 260 000 tonnes of rice. Although security environment remains uncertain and volatile, the international community continues to deliver food aid to the communities that were affected by flooding in May 2004 (the district of Mapou in South-East department, along the border with the Dominican Republic) and in September 2004 (the city of Gonaļves in the Artibonite department) and to the drought-prone North-West department.