MIREBALAIS AND SAUT D’EAU REGION
WINNER will focus its activities in the region of Mirebalais and Saut d’Eau on the mango value chain, particularly for the export of the francisque mango variety.
The mango value chain, particularly the francisque mango variety, is one of the main value chains in Haiti with significant potential for export growth. The table below summarizes the export of mangos from Haiti in 2011, and identifies mango exports in the WINNER areas of intervention.
2011 mango exports (dozens)
|Cul de Sac|
|Cul de Sac plain||
|Croix des Bouquets||
|Total Mirebalais/Saut d’Eau||
|Total WINNER Areas||
|Petite Rivière de l’Artibonite||
|Total Other Regions||
|Percent in WINNER regions||
As can be seen from the table, the Mirebalais/Saut d’Eau region accounts for 30% of all mango exports, and the WINNER corridors produces 10% of the mangoes exported this year. The mango value chain is strategically important for Haiti to increase revenues from exports. However, the efforts to date to develop the mango value chain have been scattered and intermittent. The full development of the value chain at the regional level, taking into account all the elements of the value chain in an integrated way, has not been done before.
Over the past 25 years, francisque mango exports have been stable at around 13,500 metric tons per year, whereas worldwide demand has been steadily increasing. This means that Haiti is losing market share with respect to other producing countries.
Until the mid-1990’s, the francisque mango did not have much value in the marketplace and was sold for a very low price (between 3 and 9 gourdes a dozen) according to the FENAPCOM (Fédération Nationale pour la Production et la Commercialisation de la Mangue). The mango production was primarily for local consumption and many farmers used mango trees to produce wood charcoal. With the increase in the worldwide demand for fresh mangoes, mango prices gradually increased. A successful grafting operation on 5,000 mango trees in the Mirebalais / Saut d’Eau area by an international organization in the late 1990s provided a boost to local production.
A1.The mango production system in the Mirebalais / Saut d’Eau region
Mango is cultivated along with other staple crops (rice, maize), beans, sugar cane, plantains, and fruit trees. There is no precise data on the mango production in the Mirebalais and Saut d’Eau communes because the value chain is not well organized. There are four major mango producer associations in the area, but most producers do not belong to associations. Among the associations are COEDPA, regrouping 216 producers with 102,000 trees, capable of selling up to 900,000 dozen mangoes per year to exporters. In Saut d’Eau, RAPCOM’s 250 members have 3,000 mango trees and SAPCO regroups 300 producers. Partial data from the Saut d’Eau region indicates that there are at least 1,628 mango producers in the rural sections of Rivière Canot, Coupe Mardigras and la Selle with an average of 5 mango trees per producer. The biggest local producer is in the Coupe Mardigras section with 60 mango trees.
During the mango production season, all the value chain actors are mobilized: producers, pickers, transporters, washers, wholesalers, truckers, retailers, temporary collection centers (usually in private homes), and street vendors. The truckers make frequent round trips between the Mirebalais / Saut d’Eau area and Port-au-Prince where the buyers are concentrated.
Therefore, mango production is a key agricultural value chain in this region. Each year, nearly 400,000 cases of mangoes are sent to Port-au-Prince for the export market. Currently, a dozen mangoes sell for an average of 53 gourdes directly to exporters and for between 37 and 47 gourdes to local wholesalers. However, mangoes rejected for the export market are sold at very low prices in the local market (around 10 gourdes a dozen) and many are wasted.
A2. Regional assets for expanding the francisque mango value chain
It is estimated that 20% of national francisque mango production for export comes from the Mirebalais/Saut d’Eau region, despite the high rate of rejected fruits due to anthracnose in highly humid areas. There are several assets of the region that favor the expansion of mango production:
- Grafting opportunities for export ready mango varieties, in addition to mango francisque;
- Favorable agro-climatic conditions;
- Knowledge of producers of the region of the importance of mango francisque;
- Rehabilitation of National road #3 and completion of the new Saut d’Eau – Titanyen road;
- Economic importance in the area of revenues generated by mango production;
- High local consumption of rejected mangos for export;
- Importance of mango trees as land cover in the area.
However, despite these assets, there are some key constraints to the development of mango production.
A3. Constraints of the value chain
Although there is a clear market for Haitain mangoes, Haitian exports have been stagnant at around 1.5 to 2 million cases per year. Problems in production are exacerbated by a rejection rate of 25% to 50% of the mangoes that reach the export conditioning plants. This results in lower margins all along the value chain.
The primary constraints in the mango value chain are presented below.
There are many issues with mango production. Farmers are poorly educated on best practices, the mango trees are subject to disease and receive no phytosanitary treatment, and there is a general lack of post-harvest facilities near the production sites.
Mango production in the Mirebalais region is scattered. In general, producers own between 3 and 5 trees, which is an inefficient quantity to pick, as pickers must make arrangements with many small farmers. In addition, poor picking practices result in many fruits being bruised or damaged.
Mangos are also very susceptible to anthracnose due to high humidity levels. This is one of the major causes for the high number of rejected mangos because of the dark spots on the fruits.
The transport of mangos from the production areas to the major exporting facilities also exacerbates post-harvest losses. Mangos are primarily transported on donkeys from the fields, in sacks of ten dozens, towards makeshift collection centers. Because of poor road conditions and the types of burlap sacks used, there is a high level of bruising as the fruits rub against each other. This is exacerbated by mangoes ripening too quickly during the rainy season.
Since the optimal time between harvesting the fruits and their delivery at the exporters conditioning plants in Port-au-Prince is less than three days, the poor modes of transportation and aggregation of the fruits create huge logistical problems. To gain time, local wholesalers use private homes near the areas of production as makeshift collection centers. Mangos are then transported from the temporary collection centers to aggregation centers where trucks belonging to the exporters pick up the fruits. This transport is often done in pick-up trucks on roads in poor condition.
The tools used in mango harvesting and handling are very rudimentary and do not prevent high post-harvest losses.
The majority of mango farmers operate within a very disorganized value chain. This hampers productivity and makes traceability difficult. There are currently three associations of mango producers in the region.
Most producers of francisque mango seek to sell their fruits to exporters. Unfortunately, more than half of the production does not meet export requirements. Due to lack of phyto-sanitary treatment of mango trees, and poor post-harvest and transportation conditions, the rejection rate is more than 50%. After selling the mangos that meet international requirements, the rejected mangos are sold at very low prices in the local market because they are perishable.
Lack of processing facilities
There are only five small processing units for mangos in the communes of Mirebalais and Saut d’Eau. Product losses can be significantly diminished by increasing the number of post-harvest and processing facilities in the region.
Although market opportunities are important in the mango value chain, producers face financial constraints to further develop production. Generally, mango francisque are sold in advance at a set price to intermediaries. Producers do not generally negotiate prices directly with exporters. There are many intermediaries in the value chain. These intermediaries ensure the harvesting, transportation on donkeys and mules, and temporary storage of the mangos. There is a primary sorting of mangoes in temporary collection centers with the final sorting done at the exporter’s facility.
There is very little investment in the value chain for the purchase of improved tools, and the building of collection centers, or of processing facilities. Mango producers have little access to credit and mango farmer associations are not well organized and are generally weak.
B. Selected Zones of Intervention
In Mirebalais and Saut d’Eau, due to the mountainous regions and the importance of soil erosion control practices being widespread, as well as the relatively limited overall area of the watershed, WINNER will focus activities in the mango producing areas. However, some infrastructure work, such as ravine treatment, will be done upstream of mango producing areas to protect them from sedimentation and flooding.
C. Strategies for the development of the mango value chain in the Mirebalais/Saut d’Eau Region
The WINNER interventions in the two communes will be focused in high mango production areas in the sections of Gascogne, Sarazin, Crète Brulée in the commune of Mirebalais; and Rivière Canot, Coupe Mardigras and la Selle in the Commmune of Saut-d’Eau. We will also work in zones of potential extension of mango production.
The main objective of the WINNER project is to help producers of francisque mangoes in the communes of Mirebalais and Saut d’Eau to increase the production of mangoes for export while increasing their revenues.
More specifically, WINNER interventions will contribute to:
- Increase the production of exportable mangoes in the two communes by 10% to 15% compared to last year;
- Control and reduce the propagation of diseases during production;
- Improve local roads to better evacuate mango production;
- Build collection and processing centers;
- Reduce losses by 15% to 20%;
- Assist producer associations in marketing and selling their products.