In about two months, begins the great spring season, which represents 50 to 60% of national agricultural production. In fact, in all departments, the activities of seedling usually begins in March with the rainy season and continues through May, depending on the area. Crops extends from July to September.
Preparations are already underway in some mountain areas: the Grande'Anse, the North East, Nippes. In the North and the South East, officials of the departmental directorates of agricultural (DDA), and various NGOs, plan to launch this annual campaign. However, in the lower Artibonite, farmers, who rely heavily on the success of the winter season, especially for the bean crop, risk to not begin in time if a support in inputs (including bean seed) does not compensate the agricultural losses announced this winter.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development (MARNDR), under the public investment program for the year 2011-2012, aiming the revival of production, plans to inject about 864 million gourdes [± 21 million U.S. dollars] in the agricultural sector. On the one hand, through a program that will cost 64 million gourdes, more than 500 tonnes of bean seed, corn and sorghum, 100 000 banana suckers, mini-sets of yam and sweet potato cuttings, shall be provided to farmers. For specific regions such as the Artibonite, South, Northeast and North, zones of high rice production, the program also includes a component of production, packaging and marketing of rice seeds. About 100 metric tons of rice seeds will be produced and marketed.
Moreover, the Department intends to strengthen the capacity of corn producers in the irrigated plains in order to increase the yield which will go to about 5 tons per hectare. It is also anticipated that, in addition to distributing 60 tonnes tonnes of additional seed to farmers, a program of technical supervision that will include the tilling of soil, the provision of fertilizer, pesticide and irrigation pump.
These initiatives address the need to revitalize the agricultural sector, for which a growth of around 5% is anticipated by the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF), and satisfy the demand of a few large national and international companies, specialized in processing corn. Through this sector, from March to July 2012, about 100,000 jobs will be created, of which 65.000 in rural areas. With an estimated amount of 800 million gourdes, this project will be funded mainly by the Treasury.
For its part, FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization), is developing an Action Plan for the 2012 spring campaign. It is expected to distribute approximately 145 tonnes of maize seed "Chicken corn" to 14,500 vulnerable families living in the municipalities such as Léogane/Gressier, Petit Goâve/Grand Goâve, Aquin, Jérémie and Marigot. In addition, FAO will organize seed fairs by distributing purchase vouchers to households. Each household that received coupons worth 1,000 gourdes, can be bought quality seeds of a culture of their choice. The fairs will be organized in four departments, the West, Artibonite, South East and South, and will target almost 9,000 households.
Other agencies also involved in this sector by providing agricultural inputs to farmers. For example, as part of the WINNER project, nearly 300 tonnes of seed of cereals and pulses will be distributed in the plain of the Cul-de-sac. These interventions will not only help increase production but also create jobs profitable for laborers who constitute the layer most vulnerable to food insecurity of the rural population.