Haiti: Hurricane Matthew Causes Minimal Damage to Second Rice Crop
Of the numerous crops that Haiti produces for food consumption, one of the most important is rice. The
main rice producing region is the L’Artibonite Valley.
USDA estimates Haiti’s 2016/17 milled rice production at 69,000 metric tons, up 11,000 tons from last year but down from the peak of 78,000 tons for 2013/14. Haiti’s main rice crop is planted in February and March and is harvested from June through September. Although precise figures are unavailable, first-season rice likely accounts for over half of total output.
Second-season rice is planted in August and September and harvested in November and December. According to USDA data, Haiti’s rice production meets only about 20 percent of the country’s domestic consumption needs; the remaining 80 percent is imported. Area is estimated at 75,000 hectares and remains relatively stable from year to year. Yield, however, can fluctuate considerably depending on weather and other factors.
MODIS satellite imagery highlights the size and ferocity of Hurricane Matthew, which hit the Caribbean in October 2016 as a Category 4 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Haiti’s first-season rice had already been harvested by October, so only the second and lower-producing rice crop was impacted. The damage to Haiti’s bean crop, however, was extensive. According to a December 22, 2016 report from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), beans are an important food crop in Haiti, and the impact of the damage is being reflected by the higher local market prices of beans. Damage also occurred to livestock and some specialty crops such as fruit-bearing trees. The country continues to rebuild infrastructure and agriculture following the 2010 earthquake, and the timing of Hurricane Matthew has hindered the rebuilding effort and the food security situation.
The SPI/CHIRPS (Standardized Precipitation Index/Climate Hazards Group InfraRed Precipitation with Station) drought monitor shows the frequency of drought based on climatological data. Based on precipitation over the past few months, the monitor indicates favorable planting conditions for the 2017/18 main-season rice crop, which will begin in February.
Current USDA area and production estimates for grains and other agricultural commodities are available on IPAD's Agricultural Production page or at PSD Online.
Visit Crop Explorer http://www.pecad.fas.usda.gov/cropexplorer/