Haiti's agriculture sector, more than one-quarter of the Caribbean nation's economy, is poised to bounce back as the one-year anniversary of a crushing earthquake arrives tomorrow.
Very shortly after the 7.0-magnitude quake on January 12, 2010, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Food Programme began assessing Haiti's crop and food security status. On top of concluding the industry had been damaged, the relief organizations also provided much-needed agricultural assistance.
"Although the earthquake was by and large an urban tragedy, its impact resounded throughout the country, severely disrupting economic infrastructure in rural areas," according to a statement from the Food and Agriculture Organization.
The groups have stepped forward to help facilitate food assistance, agriculture activity and the distribution of seeds, tools and fertilizers, all of which has contributed to a challenging situation. The FAO's contributions – which include water pumps and tons of fertilizer and vegetable seeds – have benefited at least 17,000 urban and rural households.
"Over half of the country’s population lives in rural areas – between five and six million people – and the majority of these practice some form of farming or agricultural production," according to an FAO statement issued on Monday. "The agriculture sector is by far Haiti’s biggest employer, accounting for about 26 percent of the country’s economic output."