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The Printemps season was a success in most agro-ecological regions of the country

  • Food Security Outlook Update
  • Haiti
  • August 2017
The Printemps season was a success in most agro-ecological regions of the country

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  • Key Messages
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    Key Messages
    • There was an improvement in food availability and food access between June and August with the Printemps harvest, which are currently winding up in most agro-ecological regions of the country. There should be Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity in all areas of the country between now and January 2018, except in certain communes experiencing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity conditions due to the residual effects of previous shocks (droughts, floods, and pest infestations).

    • The larger supply of locally grown crops, particularly maize, beans, and market garden produce, have significantly brought down their prices on retail markets tracked by FEWS NET. The stable exchange rate for more than three months (though still down from 2014 and 2015) has been helping to stabilize prices for imported cereals in general and rice and maize in particular. However, prices remain high in spite of the current favorable conditions on world markets. 

    • According to current forecasts, there will be normal rainy season conditions until November, which will help promote the smooth growth and development of bean and maize crops planted during Eté season, particularly in humid and semi-humid mountain areas, and long-cycle crops from the Printemps growing season. These crop planting activities are expected to trigger a new rebound in demand for farm labor. However, farmers are complaining of a relative scarcity of farm workers, particularly with the growing flow of migration, drift from the land, and apathy of youths towards farming in general.


    The Printemps harvests are winding up in areas where the rainy season got off to a timely start. The average harvests in these areas have actually helped bring down prices for locally grown food crops such as maize and beans since May. Harvests in areas where the rainy season got off to a late start (with the first rains falling in May instead of March or April) are underway or expected to begin by the end of August or September for longer-cycle varieties of maize (in the Nord-Est, Ouest, Centre, and other departments). There are widespread reports of better local food supply or food availability on the different markets tracked by FEWS NET. In fact, according to observations by members of the Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission (CFSAM) for the 2017 Printemps growing season, the food security situation appears to be improving in a large majority of the communes visited by the mission, except for certain communes such as Thomassique (in the Centre department), mountain and remote areas of Croix-des-Bouquets, Thomazeau, Arcahaie, Grand Goave (in the Ouest department), Corail and Pestel (in Grand'Anse). The upper Artibonite (Anse Rouge, Terre Neuve, and Gros Morne) and certain communes in the Nord where most Printemps harvests were very poor are still feeling the residual effects of previous shocks.

    On a different note, preparations for the planting of Eté crops are underway, particularly in mountain areas. These activities are an important source of employment for poor households, affording them an opportunity to work as day laborers for better-off households preparing the land and planting crops for a daily wage of between 150 and 200 gourdes depending on the area, providing tens of thousands of farm workers with a source of income.

    Even with good rainfall conditions, the availability of and access to seeds pose major constraints to the success of the current growing season, with certain households forced to get into debt or to sell livelihood assets (particularly livestock) in order to purchase farm inputs and cover their high production costs.

    Prices for imported food such as rice on the departmental urban markets tracked by FEWS NET were extremely stable between the months of June and July. This price stability was due to the combined effects of the relatively stable exchange rate, the availability of locally grown crops, and trends in world market prices. However, these prices are still higher than they were last year and above the five-year average. Prices for locally grown crops such as beans and maize have visibly declined on all markets. In fact, maize prices were down sharply from the month of June, by an average of more than 9 percent. There have reportedly been dramatic drops in market prices in Les Cayes (by more than 51 percent), Fond-des-Nègres (by more than 20 percent), Jacmel (by more than 13 percent), and Port-au-Prince (by close to nine percent). The average price of maize, which had been stable on other markets, is steadily coming down with the ongoing harvests in certain regions of the country. There was a steady decline in black bean prices in July (by an average of 4.9 percent), driven by the reported drops in prices on different markets, particularly in Croix-des-Bossales (Port-au-Prince: by close to 28 percent). The sole exceptions were the Hinche and Jérémie markets, while bean prices have been holding steady on the Les Cayes market.

    Most humanitarian assistance programs began to wind down in June, with noticeable sharp cutbacks in the number of program beneficiaries. However, certain humanitarian organizations are continuing to help vulnerable populations in certain areas hard hit by Hurricane Mathew and the bad weather in April and May. This assistance includes distributions of seeds (maize, beans, and cassava), fishing equipment, and female goats, as well as cash transfers for farmers to jump-start crop production.


    With the situation developing as predicted in the Outlook for June 2017 through January 2018, this update upholds FEWS NET’s original assumptions.


    The larger local food supply in most parts of the country have brought down prices on different markets. This trend is likely to continue for the next few months, particularly in areas where the season got off to a late start in which maize and bean crops are being harvested in August and September. However, things could turn around in areas where harvests are already completed and the month of August is devoted to the planting of summer crops. These crop planting activities would likely reduce supply, which, in turn, would affect retail prices. The relatively stable exchange rate for the gourde against the U.S. dollar may sustain the current trend in prices for imported rice. In addition, world market prices are trending downwards, driven by the favorable weather conditions and resulting good volume of production. Thus, even if local market prices appear to be downwardly rigid on account of internal bottlenecks, the drop in prices in July and good harvest outlook may help sustain current trends on local markets over the coming months.

    In general, there should be Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity across the country between now and January 2018. Conditions are still conducive to an improvement in food availability and food access, barring a major shock disrupting the growing cycles of seasonal crops. However, conditions in communes with very poor if any Printemps harvests due to the residual effects of previous shocks (floods, droughts, etc.) will remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2).Globalement, le pays devrait être en insécurité alimentaire Minimale (Phase 1 de l’IPC) jusqu’en janvier 2018. La situation est encore favorable à une amélioration des conditions de disponibilité et d'accessibilité alimentaires, moyennant l’absence de choc majeur qui ne vienne perturber les cultures de la période. Cependant, les communes où les récoltes de printemps ont été très faibles, voire même perdues en raison des effets résiduels des chocs antérieurs (inondations, sécheresse, etc.) continueront de se classifier en Stress (Phase 2 de l’IPC).

    This Food Security Outlook Update provides an analysis of current acute food insecurity conditions and any changes to FEWS NET's latest projection of acute food insecurity outcomes in the specified geography over the next six months. Learn more here.

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