SMIAR > Data & Tools > Observation de la Terre
SMIAR - Système mondial d’information et d’alerte rapide

Rapports de synthese par pays

  Haiti

Reference Date: 31-July-2019

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Dry conditions in 2019 main season adversely affect maize yields

  2. Cereal import requirements forecast at above‑average levels in 2019/20

  3. Prices of staple food higher than their year-earlier levels

Dry conditions in 2019 main season adversely affect maize yields

Harvesting of the 2019 main “printemps” season maize crop is ongoing, except in the central plateau region, where harvesting operations start in August. After an early onset of rains in March, rainfall amounts during the planting and crop development stages were below average, particularly in the Southern and Northern regions. Field reports by the FAO Haiti Office indicate drought conditions in North-East Department, where moisture deficits affected the 2019 main maize crops and pasture availability. This is supported by satellite images that show below-average vegetation health conditions in Southwestern and Northern regions (see VHI map). Poor rainy seasons for the second consecutive year are expected to further aggravate the food security situation in these regions. By contrast, according to remote sensing analyses, vegetation conditions are deemed favourable in some areas of major maize producing departments, such as Artibonite, Centre and Sud-Est, which account for more than 50 percent of the national production. Prospects for the main season output remain uncertain due to the prolonged dryness.

The 2019 main rice crop is currently at development stage and rainfall amounts and distribution were generally favourable in the key rice producing Artibonite Department. Remote sensing analysis suggests above-average vegetation conditions in the region, raising yields prospects.

Although there is no official data, plantings of maize and rice crops are estimated to have contracted in the main season and are expected to continue its downturn in the following minor season due to high production costs, consequence of a weaker local currency and high inflationary pressures. Poor macro‑economic situations could have severe impacts on the effective purchasing power of the poor, which in turn would likely affect their food insecurity situations.

Cereal import requirements forecast at above‑average levels in 2019/20

The cereal import requirements for the 2019/20 marketing year (July/June) are forecast at an above-average level of 835 000 tonnes, reflecting a yearly contraction in cereal outputs as well as sustained demand for wheat. Due to the weak local currency, which makes imported goods more expensive, the financial coverage of the high import requirements will exacerbate the already large current account deficit.

Prices of staple food higher than their year-earlier levels

Retail prices of locally produced maize meal have been increasing since the beginning of 2019. In June, prices of maize meal were well above their year-earlier levels as the seasonal upward trend was compounded by concerns over the potential impact of below-average rainfall on output in some growing areas. Similarly, prices of black beans, another staple food in the country, have been on the rise since early 2019 and were higher than their year-earlier levels. Socio-political turmoil contributed to sustain the high level of food prices. In addition, the weakening of local currency pushed prices of rice, which is mostly imported, to levels well above those a year earlier.

Disclaimer: The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of FAO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.