ORE is committed to providing Haitian farmers with quality, high performance seeds adapted to local farming conditions. Priority is being given to bio-fortified staple crop seeds such as the high-yield quality protein maize (QPM) and iron rich bean seeds ORE is providing for farmers.

Improved seed production.

Currently the majority of farmers are planting food grains bought in the market and crop yields are at subsistence levels. Improved seeds, selected for local conditions, offer farmers a better chance to harvest lucrative crops. ORE has set up a seed processing facility in Camp Perrin where we can produce approximately three hundred tons of commercial seeds a year, using material from our ongoing seed research and improvement program. The benefits are increased yields, higher income and improved nutrition.

Selecting and improving seeds for local conditions: ORE's program is designed to offer Haitian farmers quality, high performance seeds that are adapted to local conditions. Seed production is based on selecting and improving local seed material and maintaining international varieties adapted to local conditions. The program is working with both newly developed hybrid and open-pollinated varieties of corn and selected black bean varieties that have improved nutritional value - as well as sorghum and pigeon peas.

For over a decade, ORE has been systematically collecting and maintaining material originally introduced by international centers and selecting and improving promising local varieties of corn, beans and sorghum. The key element of the program is based on taking a realistic approach to the adverse conditions in which the majority of Haitians are forced to farm: that is low soil fertility, diseases and lack of irrigation. Imported hybrid seeds deliver high yields under good conditions. But for Haiti's poor soils, the rain-fed agricultural conditions and the general lack of fertilizers, it is necessary to adapt the more hardy local varieties and increase their performance.

The major varieties of ORE improved seeds

  • Corn varieties: Selected CIMMYT QPM varieties, Chicken-corn Cc1, La Maquina 7827, and Apollon hybrids.
  • Bean varieties: Selected CIAT varieties, Lore 87, Lore 24 and Lore 566.
  • Sorghum varieties: Kòkòt 94 and Dodo 97
Staple Crop Chart

Staple crops such as corn, beans and sorghum,
comprise nearly 80% of land use in Haiti.

There is a permanent demand on the local market for staple crops such as sorghum, corn and beans, which form the basis of the farming system.

Studies made by SISA-USAID show that 80% of the 1,341,497 hectares currently farmed in Haiti are planted with three staple crops: corn (45%), beans (25%) and sorghum (10%).

However the yields are among the lowest recorded in the hemisphere. Statistics from and FAO and the Haitian Ministry of Agriculture show that less than 7% of the national seed requirements are supplied.

Currently the majority of farmers have little or no access to improved seeds and are planting food grains bought in the market. As a result crop yields are at subsistence levels. Such grains have low germination rates, (often around 30%), and have neither been selected for high performance nor resistance to heat, drought or disease. The financial returns to the farmers are rarely above subsistence farming levels.



Improved seeds are essential to increase the yields of Haiti's major staple food crops

It is estimated that 70% of the Haitian population are involved in agriculture. More than two-third of the land is planted in corn, beans and sorghum. However, by providing improved seeds, and offering production and marketing assistance, ORE is able to help the farmers make the move from subsistence farming to commercially successful agriculture. The availability of improved seeds, produced from varieties selected for high production and treated with pesticides to control seed-born diseases, will significantly increase the production of staple crops and enhance Haiti's food security.


More on improved seeds

Nutritional goals: QPM (quality protein maize) and iron rich beans

Economic benefits of improved seeds

Training activities for seed production

Support our efforts to improve staple crops in Haiti

  Minisetting is an excellent method of rapidly
multiplying valuable plant material for local farmers.
Help us in our goal to improve staple crops in Haiti.
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