Haiti's mango industry plays an important role in the country's export economy, its rural nutritional needs and its ecology. ORE's improvement program uses grafting to create commercial quality trees.
Mangos are an important source of income and nutrition
Mangos represent the largest percentage of the tree population throughout Haiti. Mangos are an important source of income and nutrition to rural families. USAID estimates that there are 10 million mango trees growing in Haiti. However, only about 10% of the existing trees are the Madame Francis commercial variety. The remainder are local varieties which have little commercial value. Low quality fruit trees which are cut down for fuel or wood products. Transforming low quality fruit trees by grafting is an excellent way to protecting the environment and generate income. Only high revenue trees - such as commercial quality fruits and spice trees - will survive deforestation. Trees which earn between $50 and $100 a year are too valuable to lose!
The goal of our improvement program is to increase the commercial tree population through nursery production, and by using top-grafting in the field to transform existing noncommercial trees into commercial quality trees, such as Madame Francis. Grafting in nurseries and top-grafting adult trees in the field ensure a rapid increase in production of commercial quality fruits. Furthermore we are working on introducing selected new varieties for export and transformation, and on increasing profitability through technical assistance to improve post-harvest activities and marketing operations. Increasing the population of commercially productive trees will generate significant economic benefits, promote food security, help expand Haiti's existing mango export industry and have beneficial ecological effects.
The economic impact of mangos: Mangos are one of Haiti's major export crops, second only to coffee. The growth in mango consumption in developed countries over the last 15 years has been striking. As world demand increases, the volume of shipments from Haiti continues to increase. The sale of commercial quality mangos, such as the Madame Francis variety, provides a significant proportion of the farmer's revenue in many areas of the country. As the market continues to grow, the demand for commercial quality fruit trees increases. The mango-export industry has clearly demonstrated that Haitian exporter's have the necessary expertise to operate on the international market. ORE has been working over the past decade to increase the number of commercial quality trees in production.
To learn more about the mango industry in Haiti we suggest you visit the following sites: JMB S. A. at www.mango-haiti.com. JMB S.A. exports on an average 450,000 boxes of 10 lb. a year, and plans to establish its own orchards in the near future to meet the growing demand.
ORE propagates mango tree using two techniques: the nursery production of seedlings for distribution to farmers for planting, and the top-grafting of existing non-commercial fruit trees. The Madame Francis, Haiti's prime export variety, is a poly embryonic mango. It can be reproduced directly from seed, but tests have shown that no more than 60% of trees grown from seed are true to seed. Grafting is the only way to ensure the best quality fruits. Also grafted trees bear fruit earlier. A grafted mango tree can bear fruit after 2 - 3 years as opposed to 5 years from seed. Top worked trees i.e. mature established trees which are grafted in the field sometimes bear fruit after only one year.
A look at mangos in Haiti
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