A few days before the new year, the President Michel Martelly announced that agriculture and the environment will be the main priorities for 2013 and affirmed, that the launch of the agricultural recovery plan of Government, will enable the country to achieve 70% of food self sufficiency by 2016. The Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development (MARNDR) and the Agency for the Development of the Artibonite Valley (ODVA), anticipate producing in 2013, in the Artibonite Valley, 100,000 metric tons of rice, an objective that would meet 25% of local needs.
According to Jacques Thomas, Minister of Agriculture, the Government has allocated several million Gourdes, which allowed in less than 3 months, to clean out 45 km of drains, to rehabilitate 18 km of irrigation canals and build 13 kilometers of road to make reachable certain regions. In addition, significant efforts have been made for the conversion of 6,000 hectares of uncultivated land, into productive land.
With its 32 000 hectares, the land of the Artibonite valley, once enhanced, would be able to produce nearly 80% of the rice consumed in Haiti. Kénel Francique, Director of ODVA, pointed out that this is by multiplying the irrigation works, that it will be possible to increase the area of rice fields and achieve food self-sufficiency.