Haiti: six months on, agriculture needs more support

Haiti: six months on, agriculture needs more support

15/07/2010

While timely food assistance and agricultural inputs helped avert a post-earthquake food crisis in Haiti, insufficient funding for agriculture continues to hamstring efforts to improve food security, local food production and provide income opportunities in rural areas six months after the devastating quake.

Rural areas neglected

"Most of the response has been focussing on the urban aspect of the crisis, but the international community must not neglect rural areas if they want to overcome the massive effects of the earthquake in the country," said FAO Senior Emergency and Rehabilitation Coordinator for Haiti Etienne Peterschmitt. "Greater investment in agriculture and the creation of jobs in rural areas are needed urgently to stem the flow of displaced people back into Port-au-Prince and to support food security throughout the country."

FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture distributed agricultural inputs to 72 000 farming families in earthquake-hit and rural areas in time for the critical spring planting season, which accounts for 60 percent of Haiti's agricultural production. This assistance has enabled over 360 000 people to produce and consume their own locally produced food, selling the surplus to cover health and education expenses.