Haiti – Agriculture : Spring campaign against a background of socio-political crisis and seed scarcity
According to the latest report from the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), the rains of the first 2 weeks of March favored the establishment of the sowing activities of the spring campaign in most of the country. According to key informants, most areas experience low seed availability in markets, due to below normal winter harvests, which could result in limited planting. In Artibonite, the bastion of agricultural production, the countryside is disrupted, among other things, by problems with the irrigation canals, resulting in low water flow.
Moreover, the socio-political context is becoming more worrying. In the capital of Port-au-Prince, increased insecurity, kidnappings and increasingly violent protests are creating a climate of fear that could hamper economic activity. The sporadic closure of businesses and schools and the limited functioning of markets negatively impact income opportunities, especially for poor urban households.
Although below the level of March 2020, the official exchange rate which, from October to November 2020, had stabilized around 63.00 Gourdes per US dollar, reached 79.17 Gourdes on March 30, 2021 [82.66 Gourdes as of April 17]. However, the prices of imported basic products, strongly linked to the informal market exchange rate, around 95 gourdes per dollar, maintain a high trend, compared to the average of the last 5 years.
Finally, livelihoods are still disrupted, mainly due to low purchasing power. In the midst of the lean season, very poor households will therefore continue to adopt crisis or stress strategies to maintain the current level of their food consumption. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Stress (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity is observed in most regions.