Rapid Product Assessment of the Mango Commodity Sector for the Haitian Hillside
Agricultural Program (HAP)
Thomas L. Davenport, Consultant
1. Who are they?
Mango producers in Haiti are landowners on whose property one to several mango trees
exist, usually by chance. Few in Haiti have sufficient land to plant more than a few trees,
especially considering the large size of over 15 meters to which they typically allow them
to obtain (See photo at left). The number of
producers is unknown and difficult to
characterize because they are typically
opportunistic, taking advantage of the fact that
a volunteer tree exists on the property.
A producer may have a primary income other
than farming and use the plants grown on the
property for subsistence. If they are farmers,
they use the trees to augment income from
other more economically viable crops, such as
bananas, vegetables, or agronomic crops (see
photo below). Mangoes have been considered
to be of such low value as a crop that
many producers have, until recently, cut
large trees in order to sell the wood for
use in making lumber and/or charcoal.
One large tree can be sold for up to $100
Haitian (US$20). Such decisions are also
driven by the fact that cutting a tree
brings immediate income at times when
money is most needed for family survival
whereas waiting for a tree to produce an
unreliable crop may be too little and too
late to get the family through the year.
Mango trees are found in virtually every area where there is adequate water for them to
germinate and grow without cultivation. This is usually in areas highly populated by
people as they discard seeds after consumption. Appendix I provides a map that indicates
locations where mangoes grow and are sought for harvests destined for export and
domestic sales. About 50% of the commercial export production comes from Gros
Morne region, located in the north east area of the Artibonite district, 25% comes from
the other areas in the Artibonite district, and the remaining 25% of the annual exported
crop comes from the rest of the indicted areas of the map in Appendix I. The districts
located in the south generally have ample water as evidenced by lush green vegetation
and mesophytic type trees that are typical of climates with ample rainfall. I was able to
see only the areas from Port-au-Prince to Jacmel, but I was told that what I saw there is
typical of the whole peninsula.
The Centre, Artibonite, and Nord-Ouest districts are generally dry, as evidenced by the
presence of xerophytic vegetation, but numerous rivers and streams drain the mountain
water into the Golfe de la Gonave. The commercial mango production areas indicated in
Appendix I usually thrive in valleys and lower hillsides along these waterwvays. It
appeared to me that the mountains in Gros Morne exhibited evidence of more lasting
rainfall as evidenced by extensive green vegetation on the hillsides but it may have been
a result of growth that occurs only during the rainy season. Although I did not see the
Nord district, I presume it is a wetter area since anthracnose, a disease of mango that
thrives in humid conditions is most prevalent in that region.
Although the northern area around Cap Haitian produces Francique type mangoes, they
suffer excessive anthracnose and fruit fly damage. Travel distances across poor quality
roads to packing houses in Port-au-Prince make it difficult to transport them for export.
3. Farm size
Few producers own a parcel of land occupying more than a fraction of a hectare.
Although I was shown four holdings ranging from about 5 to 15 hectares in area, the vast
majority of the producers, probably over 98%, own far less than a hectare as land has
been split among family members with the passing of inheritance over the years since
independence from slavery. Except for four larger holdings that I observed, none of the
producers have trees planted in an organized way. The mango trees are typically very
large, growing among tall breadfruit trees, coconut palm, or other tall trees used in
production of wood in moist areas. Intermediate sized under story plants may consist of
banana, cassava, corn, or pigeon pea. Malanga, beans, chayote, pumpkin, or yams
usually occupy the balance of the property. Goats, chickens, and occasionally cattle that
are allowed to graze as much as possible on available land provide meat protein. Only
crops that are deemed of value to a producer are protected from grazing animals.
Traditionally, mango has not been one of the protected crops.
4. Land types
Fifty to sixty percent of the overall commercial mango production is on hillsides. This
can range from slight slopes on the edges of the hills to about 45% slope on hillsides.
They are usually concentrated in or near
ravines. The rest are on alluvial planes and in
river valleys (See photo to right). Gros Morne
and the other mango production areas in the
Artibonite district, noted by "H" in Appendix I,
are sites where nearly all of the hillside.
agriculture in Haiti occurs.
Hillside volunteer mango trees appear to
originate from discarded seeds near the tops of .
hills that spread downhill in a fan shaped
pattern in ravines where rainwater can best seep
into the soil. Animals usually graze these
areas, but some seasonal vegetables like corn,
and yams may be planted on the hillsides where
the soil can retain enough water to sustain the
plants to harvest.
The soils I observed in most of the mango. -....
growing areas appeared to be fertile with. .
excellent, loose texture to facilitate unrestricted
root growth and health. Nutritional health with regard to nitrogen, phosphorus, and
potassium was good as evidenced by the density and dark green color of the mango tree
canopies. Minor element deficiency symptoms in the leaves were rare. Nitrogen and
potassium deficiency symptoms were apparent in banana trees, which require higher
levels of these minerals than does mango. I was unable to find any information on soil
pH, but I assume it varies from slightly acidic in highly organic top oils and more basic in
soils closely associated with limestone bedrock on the hillsides. This assessment is by
observation of tree foliage only, since no leaf or soil analyses have, to my knowledge,
5. Productive infrastructure
I could find no area that utilized wells or any form of irrigation unless it was provided by
aqua ducts constructed by previous NGOs and supplied by local rivers. The two aqua
duct systems I observed in Jacmel and Casales were both functioning and being utilized
by farmers. How much if this system is being utilized for the benefit of mango
production, I do not know; however, I suspect that the irrigation systems are used
primarily for vegetable production, and interplanted mango trees receive some benefit.
Producers simply do not have sufficient money to invest in any sort of sophisticated
mechanical equipment such as pumps. All work is accomplished with hand tools, usually
PADF has been responsible for construction of check dams in ravines on hillsides to help
retain water to augment ground water supplies and improve seepage along the hillsides.
This is an important step in developing agricultural sustainability, especially in the drier
B. Inputs and technology
Technically, there is no "variety" or "cultivar" grown in Haiti. Identified as a superior
Haitian mango in the 18" century, the variously named, 'Francis', 'Madame Francis', or
'Francique' is properly termed a "Francique-like mango type". This is because one out
of several seedlings that emerge from each of the polyembryonic seeds of this Southeast
Asian type of mango are derived from a "sexual" embryo that is a result of a sexual cross
during pollination either by selfing in the same tree or from an adjacent tree which may
or may not have the characteristics of 'Francique'. These give rise to a tree that has
different characteristics from those of the mother trees. This difference may be great or
small depending on the pollen source and amount of genetic diversity it provides to the
resulting seedling tree. The other "asexual" embryos in the same seeds produce plants
that are genetically identical to the mother trees from which they were borne and, thus,
propagate many trees identical to the mother tree. Hence, the germplasm of the originally
named 'Francique' tree has been diluted for nearly three hundred years due to
germination of sexual crosses- and self-pollinations of the offspring. These seedlings
have formed a population of millions of trees, some of which have sufficient 'Francique'
characteristics so as to look and taste like 'Francique' but also possess altered
characteristics that may affect production performance, disease resistance, or storage
Numerous other types, such as 'Bautist' and 'Corn' have been identified with the same
caveats in their uniqueness as that described for 'Francique'. The types display different
shapes, sweetness, and flavor qualities that make them identifiable by Haitians, but they
are simply groups of types with similar characteristics.
Regardless of this technical point, 'Francique was identified as and continues to be the
favored mango type for export to the United States from Haiti. It has good eating quality
when hanrested mature and properly ripened. It withstands the heat of quarantine
treatment, and it ships well. The type is available throughout Haiti due to its favored
status among the population.
2. Seed supplies
Mango seeds do not store well so seed supplies are non-existent. Historically, they have
been discarded after eaten by Haitians and the successful volunteers seedlings allowed to
grow. More recently, thousands of mango seeds have been gathered for planting in small
two liter plastic bags by producer organizations for the ultimate purpose of grafting on
Francique-type scions and planting in organized orchards among the member of the
3. Agro-chemical use
As far as I could determine, fertilizers are not used in Haiti on any crop, especially
mango. I heard that some people apply manure to a degree, but it is rare. Pesticides are
not used on mango for two reasons: producers are not aware of the need for pesticides on
mango or how they can benefit them. Secondly, if they were aware of the benefits, they
could not afford it with the current pay structure for mangoes.
4. Cultural practices
Haitian producers are ignorant of technologies that are universally used to produce
mangoes throughout the world. Their prospective, mostly due to the low income derived
from fruit harvests, is that the tree can provide a minimal supplemental income, which
augments that derived from the primary vegetable crops.
5. Ag credit
To my knowledge none is available.
Producers usually harvest the fruit although there are a few with sufficient numbers of
trees to require assistance by local laborers. Otherwise, the entire crop on each tree is
sold for a nominal price and the funisuers take the responsibility of harvesting the fruit.
1. Product prices
The price received for mangoes by producers varies greatly as determined by a
complicated variety of factors negotiated between funisuer and producer. Price varies
most according to area. For example, fruit harvested in Gros Morne reportedly returns
only 5 to 8 Haitian gourds per dozen whereas fruit from the Cul de Sac near Port-au-
Prince may get 7 to 10 gourds per dozen. Fruit harvested in Jacmel, Leogane, or Cabaret
can get 12 to 17 gourds per dozen. This variation in price is likely due to the amount of
anthracnose infection visible on the fruit and perhaps distance to packing houses. A
dozen mangoes is a negotiated variable in itself ranging from 13 tol8 or more fruit
comprising a dozen, depending mostly on size at harvest but also on fruit quality
2. Seasonality and variability
Production seasons can be divided into three basic harvest groups determined by the date
fruit begin to reach horticultural maturity. Early-season harvest extends from November
through January. Mid-season harvests occur from June through August, and late-season
harvests range from June to September. Some areas have one major production season
whereas other areas may have two peaks of production, usually producing early- and late-
season fruits (Appendix I). This variation is caused by asynchronous growth patterns
within major sections of individual tree canopies resulting in different flowering times in
those sections. Rainfall patterns in each area of the country contribute to this variation.
In general, the early season fruit comes first from Leogane. Production proceeds
northeastward and southwestward to Cabaret and to Jacmel and Les Cayes, respectively.
The late season fruit comes from the Artibonite and Nord area districts.
Based on volume, there were two major seasons of export to the USA from November
1999 to September 2000 peaking in May-June (~600,000 boxes/month) and August
(~550,00 boxes), respectively. The overall export production this year was more than
2.65 million boxes.
Recent Haitian Mango Production
Nov. 99 Dec.99 Jan.00 Feb.00 Mar.00 Apr.00 May.00 Jun.00 Jul. 00 Aug.00 Sep. 00 Oct.Go
Individual tree yields are impossible to assess since no records are kept. Rejection can be
as high as 90% due to anthracnose infection, fruit damage when striking the ground from
high in the trees, transport damage, or lack of sufficient fruit maturity. These factors,
along with the great variety on tree sizes and heights and the lack of synchrony of
production within trees, make estimation of average annual yields per tree impossible.
Based on the known export production of about 2.6 million boxes, a yield of perhaps 50
boxes per tree, and an actual export of perhaps 10% of the existing mangoes, there is an
estimated minimum of 520,000 productive Francique trees and about 260,000 producers
in Haiti, if one assumes an average of two trees per producer. These numbers should be
considered a gross estimate of the minimum at best. Others have estimated the numbers
to be in the millions, but bear in mid that the present estimate considers only the
Francique type of mango. It is unknown what proportion of the total number of mango
trees is of the Francique type.
4. Production costs
There are no production costs since producers provide no inputs to improve or maintain
5. Net returns to farmer
Since there are generally no costs to produce mangoes the net returns are the same as
D. Constraints and opportunities
1. Production-related constraints and impact on profitability
The primary constraints to high yields and profitability are ignorance of improved mango
horticulture methods and the inability to purchase the most rudimentary equipment to
facilitate improvement of tree production.
2. Opportunities for significant improvement for increasing profitability, reducing
variability of returns
Recent trends in forming producer and exporter organizations has begun a process that
must be accomplished in order put growers in direct contact with exporters. Producer
cooperatives or organizations facilitate sharing of information among growers. More
importantly, such organization of land cooperative owners creates a plantation
atmosphere of production with each landowner protecting and managing his portion.
Costs for supplies and use of equipment can be shared among the members of each group
to economize on the costs needed to improve yields, quality and income. Working with
exporters, they can begin to know what is required to receive maximum returns on their
mangoes by dealing directly with exporters in the sale of fruit. A many-fold increase in
income from mangoes can be realized in the first season of cooperation by just being paid
directly by the exporters for their fruit. Improvements in disease control, harvest and
transport techniques can further increase annual income fr-om mango sales by as much as
10 fold or more. Moreover adoption of improved planting skills and tree maintenance
can facilitate even greater returns from mangoes alone. Suggested plans outlining how
such drastic improvements can be made rapidly are included in the section following this
assessment entitled "Recommendations for Improving Haitian Mango Production".
1. Facilities on-farm, off-farm
There are none. Even refrigerated storage of freshly harvested fruit in the field with the
technologies available today would not be economically or operationally feasible
considering that the fruit would have to warmed to ambient temperate before being
exposed to heat treatment to satisfy quarantine regulations.
2. Pest, disease problems
Caribbean fruit flies, Anastrepha striata and A. obliqua, are the primary insect pests of
mango in Haiti. Although mango is not a preferred host of these species they do infest
the fruit to some degree especially in the northern districts of Haiti. Control is achieved
by use of baits and by harvesting fruit before fruit softening begins. The APHIS hot
water quarantine treatment insures virtually 100% kill of any larvae that may be in fruit
reaching the packinghouses.
Anthracnose, caused by the fungus, Colletotrichurm gloeosporioides, has the greatest
impact on mango yield and fruit quality. It is always associated with rain events and with
high humidity conditions sufficient to cause night dew formation. Inflorescences are the
most susceptible organ to the disease, causing them to turn black, which results in
virtually 100% loss of all open flowers following a rain event. This loss of flowers
drastically reduces yield. Small fruit exposed to the same conditions become infected
and will display black spots or streaks early or late in fruit development. Even mildly
infected fruit are unacceptable to exporters because of serious decay problems occurring
in shipping boxes during transit.
Losses due to anthracnose infection impact producers by decreased salable fruit and
impact exporters by latent infections ruining a portion or perhaps the entire shipment
when inspected at the port of entry. Exporters who reject fruit displaying anthracnose
symptoms minimize the extent of these losses. Rates of rejection at the packinghouse
door is generally about 30% but can range greatly depending upon the care that funisuers
have used in selecting fruit from producers and how they were transported.
Losses due to physical impact damage occur when producers shake limbs in the upper
canopy of large trees and allow the fruit to fall to the ground. Additional losses occur
when producers or funisuers load fruit in
woven straw baskets mounted on the backs of
donkeys for transport down hillsides. The
movement of the animals, coupled with the
rough baskets used for mangoes, cause
unacceptable damage to the skin of the fruit.
Additional damage occurs when fruit is
transported long distances over rough roads
without protection provided transport bins.
They usually end up on the bottom of pickup
beds overlade with other heavy cargo and
Additional losses may occur as a result of the
hot water treatment of immature fruit, which
results in collapse of the pulp in the shoulder
of the fruit and by jelly seed (soft nose), a
disorder usually attributed to overly mature
fruit. Although impossible to put an accurate
fi gure on overall losses, they are substantial
-when one considers the transport chain from
tree to shipping container.
4. Storage costs
Not applicable since fruit is currently not stored for any purpose.
5. Available financing
The producers usually transport fruit from picking areas to a collection point, but
funisuers may participate in this when entire trees are sold. Funisuers may buy fruit and
sell directly to an exporter or to a street vendor in the local market. Most of the time, it is
resold to another funisuer in a pyramidal chain of organization involving up to five
transfers before being sold to exporters. Once fruit reaches the packinghouses, they are
selected, washed, and hot water treated followed by temperature equilibration before
being cooled in cold rooms in preparation for loading into refrigerated containers. The
intermodal containers are loaded onto a ship and delivered to Miami, or New York.
Canadian-bound fruit are not hot water treated.
Producers rarely have a vehicle other than a donkey to transport fruit. Funisuers may
load fruit into any type of available vehicle that will reach the next point of sale. Little
care is taken to protect fruit in these transits. Some exporters are now picking up fruit
directly from producers in organized areas and transporting the fruit to the packinghouse
in large bins transported by heavy-duty trucks. Greater care is, thus, taken to reduce
losses in transit with a greater reward for those exporters who expend the time and money
to do it
3. Cost estimates
Costs vary greatly for each level of transportation. I was unable to get a firm handle on
Only one exporter, Ms. Nancy Frombrun, has expressed interest in processing cull
mangoes for production of juice and puree.
She has built a factory to receive and process the fruit and is encouraging other exporters
to sell rejects to her at a discounted price.
D. Constraints and opportunities
1. Postharvest-related constraints and impact on profitability
All of the above-named postharvest factors that contribute to fruit losses negatively
impact profitability for producers, funisuers and exporters.
2. Opportunities for significant improvements for increasing profitability and reducing
variability of returns
Education at every level of transport, starting with use of proper picking poles equipped
with cutting blades and catch bags by producers and ending with use of protective
transport bins by funisuers and exporters, will immediately reduce fruit loses and
profitability at all levels. Direct interaction with producers and producer organizations
will greatly facilitate the changes necessary to induce greater profits. It is feasible to
estimate that profits could more than double by simply protecting the fruit from damage
during harvest transport.
A revolutionary new shipping container is poised to enter the produce transport market.
It is the VacuFresh system invented by Dr. Stanley Burg and manufactured by Welfit
Oddy in South Africa It is described on their web site at
[http://www.0ddy.co.za/vacufresh/vacufresas. The intermodal container provides a
hypobaric atmosphere that is capable of storing mangoes for up to two months with no
deterioration of quality even of fully mature fruit. It may also provide an alternative
quarantine treatment replacing the hot water bath. Vastly expanded market areas will,
thus, become available such as oriental markets in the northwest USA and Europe using
this container. Other shipping container systems, such as controlled or modified
atmosphere do not work well for mangoes.
A. Domestic market (including Dominican Republic)
1. Prices in alternate markets
Although I was not given a specific price, I would guess it may be about 2 to 4 gourds
($US 0. 10 to 0.20) per fruit based on supply and demand.
a. Farmers sell fruit on highways and in towns located near the production area.
b. Funiseurs (Madame Sallys?, farm buyers/sellers) purchase fruit from the
producers and likely transport it into larger towns and villages far removed from
production areas to avoid the competition by local producers.
3. Quality requirements
Consumers in the local markets are willing to accept any level of quality. These are
hungry people, and they know that a black streaked mango usually still tastes good.
Street venders are located on sidewalks and on the side of the highways carrying traffic
through towns and villages; anywhere people frequent.
5. Product form
Mango fruit of all types are displayed fresh in large bowls or other convenient apparatus.
6. Product use
It appears to be mostly eaten out of hand by consumers walking the streets although it is
also purchased to restock home supplies.
7. Costs/share of gross revenue
8. Growth potential
I suspect that if mangoes were available every day of the year, the sale of local fruit
would increase simply due to continuous rather than seasonal availability. Continuous
availability would not likely increase the sale price, however.
B. Export market:
2. Current markets
"Red", Indian type mangoes consisting of the cultivars, Tommy Atkins, Haden, Keitt,
Irwin, and Sensation are imported from most of the tropical belt countries in the western
hemisphere, ranging fr-om Mexico to Peru and Brazil and from Puerto Rico. The most
popular imported cultivar is Tommy Atkins. Consumer markets apparently distinguish
these various red mango cultivars from the Francique, which has yellow skin and a longer
shape to it. Interestingly, market prices of the red mangoes appear to change
independently of that of the Haitian mango. For example, June and July are usually the
months of lowest returns for red mangoes due to the high volume imported from Mexico
during that period. Haitian mangoes still command a respectable return of $6 to $8 per
box over the same period. The primary consumers of Francique are Haitian and Asian
immigrants and a mixture other ethnic groups distributed along the eastern seaboard of
the United States and Canada where Francique is imported.
3. Potential markets
I believe only 10% of the American people know about and are familiar with the taste of
mango in general, and even fewer are familiar with Francique in particular. The potential
for expanded markets is tremendous through advertising programs to promote the high
quality of this Haitian fruit.
4f. Consumer markets
5. Product form
It is sold fresh in units of one fruit.
6. Product use
It is eaten fresh.
7. Price trends and seasonality
Two exporters told me that early-season mangoes, shipped from November through
January, receive $4 to $9 per box, mid-season mangoes (March through May) receive $4
to $6.50 per box and late-season fruit (June through September) receive $6 to 8$ per box.
The lower, $4, value is usually the result of shipping immature fruit. The first container
shipment of mature fruit that arrived in Miami this year from Sunshine Packinghouse in
the last week of October received $12 per box.
8. Presence/absence of market "windows"
The consistently high returns enjoyed by exporters of Francique suggest that their
marketing window for this type of mango is less critical than the February March
window for red type mangoes.
C. Constraints and Opportunities
1. Marketing-related constraints and impact on profitability
2. Opportunities for significant marketing expansion/penetration, improvement for
increasing profitability, reducing variability ofreturns
I believe Haitian mangoes should be promoted through aggressive advertising campaigns
and marketed by attractive, intelligent Haitian representative of the Haitian mango
industry. This will become even more important in order to sustain the increases in
export production once growers become aware of the great financial returns they can
V. Policy environment:
A. Taxes and subsidies
B. Non-revenue trade restrictions
C. Other relevant specific and non-specific policies
D. Constraints and opportunities
1. Policy-related constrains and impact on production, marketing incentives and
2. Opportunities for improvement of the policy environment
Recommendations for Improving Haitian Mango Production
The current status of Haitian mango production is about as primitive as I have ever seen.
Unlike other areas of mango production where the growers develop a packinghouse in
order to sell the fruit, the exporters in Haiti have simply tapped into a natural, pre-
existing resource of trees growing throughout the region. The notion that producers in
Haiti are simply tapping this natural resource that happens to be on their land has
prevailed among producers, funisuers, and exporters. There has been no economic
incentive to change this attitude since the poor economy and infrastructure would not
permit increased income for producers in the domestic market, and exporters could obtain
sufficient fruit for a sizable harvest by simply using established chains of commerce by
purchasing fruit from funisuers. Past NGOs have provided opportunities for
improvement but the producers were unable to connect such improvements with
The series of suggestions proposed here is an attempt to present a brilliant rainbow before
the producers that will be so economically attractive that they will gladly respond. The
exporters will benefit so much from their response through increased flow of exportable
fruit that the rainbow will be as bright for them. This mutually beneficial interaction will
bring an optimistic change in the way producers and exporters feel about the future
growth of Haitian Agriculture. Growers should begin to take charge of their trees as they
see the immediate benefits of increased productivity. The result should cause increased
foreign dollars to be inserted into this economy so that everyone can benefit.
Phase 1. Organization of grower cooperatives has already begun. I observed, for
example, the propagation of nursery plants for distribution to grower coops in Jacmel and
Casal, and I lectured to a group of about thirty representatives of grower coops in Gros
Morn. The grower organizations there consist of about 500 landowners. I was told that
over one million US dollars has been injected into that area from sale of mangoes a result
of grower exporter interaction. This interaction with growers must be continued by more
of the exporters through a spirit of competition coupled with mutually respectful
The first action to be done this flowering season should be educating the growers on the
benef its of fungicidal sprays. Exporters should be given the opportunity to start this
process by purchasing backpack sprayers and fungicides for several grower coops in
areas of the Artibonite district since these areas are most susceptible to anthracnose. This
should be done in a way so as to avoid conflicts between exporters. They should send
technicians to demonstrate proper spray techniques and schedules by spraying the lower
canopies of trees during flowering in areas that are affected by rain during the flowering
season. The first spray should be applied to expanding panicles just when the flowers
first begin to open. The fist treatment should be a systemic fungicide, such as either
Benlate (E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co.) or Abound (also named Bankit, manufactured
by Zeneca). The second spray should consist of a contact fungicide, such as Daconyl or
Bravo (Zeneca) applied two weeks after the first. It not only provides additional
protection, it prevents proliferation of systemic fungicide resistant fungi. Two weeks
later, repeat the systemic product followed again two weeks later with the contact
fungicide. By this time the young fruit will be completely protected from fungal
infections. Cocide, a copper based fungicide, should be sprayed with a sticker on the
fruit when they are about half size, especially if rainy conditions persist. Growers will
see the immediate benef it of the sprays by comparing the number of fruit hanging in the
treated branches versus the untreated sections of the upper canopy. The increase in yield
can be as great as ten-fold higher than untreated sections in severely affected anthracnose
areas. At the same time, the exporters should convince them that they could reap the
most benefits of this increased production by waiting for the fruit to mature before
harvesting for sale directly to the exporters. By doing so they will realize not only
increased harvest, but also they will receive up to 25 gourds per doz. (13) with the
increased yield resulting in tremendously increased income over that received from
funisuers. Instruction in the proper use of picking poles with catch bags and use of
proper field boxes on donkeys will insure protection of their valuable crop. The
participating growers will see an immediate reward in the first year. The backpack
sprayers should be sold to the participating cooperatives at half cost to them for use in the
following seasons. The exporters could help with the cost of fungicide the following
Obviously, the exporter's motivation in this process is increased pack out and better
quality fruit for increased market prices and returns. Moreover, they build producer
loyalty and open lines of communication for educating the producers about the rewards
of producing export quality fruit and how to achieve it. Use of transit bins when
transferring fruit to the packinghouses will insure good quality fruit for export. Most
growers will be willing to buy into the system once they witness the immediate economic
benefits of protective fungicidal sprays, protection of the crop from physical damage, and
selling directly to exporters,. Members of grower cooperatives will share in the purchase
of sprayers and fungicides for their mango trees. Continued education by exporters will
be essential to insure that the sprays are properly applied, fruit are harvested at maturity,
and they are protected. In the meantime, there should be interest in increasing the
number of productive trees on the communal plantations.
Phase 2. Each cooperative should plant sufficient number ofFrancique seeds to satisfy
the needs of the group. A price of one Haitian
^""""ETC~, / o dollar seems to be a price deemed reasonable by
cooperatives that have already begun propagating
nursery trees. Ideally, all seeds should come from
healthy, productive Francique type trees. The
husks of each seed should be removed to expose
the white embryos. The single, bilaterally
aUTERALsymmetric sexual embryo, located at one end of
SYRn the seed, must be separated from the asexual
embryos in each seed (see diagram). Plant only
the asexual embryos in two liter black plastic
nursery bags with drain holes, thus propagating
only Francique seedlings that will be genetically identical to the mother trees from which
they came. Seedlings should be transferred to the field at the beginning of the next rainy
season to facilitate rapid growth. I recommend orchard trees be planted on a 10 by 4
meter spacing while including the pre-existing large trees, which will eventually be cut in
Phase 3, in the overall orchard layout.
Sbreadfrut Typical cooperative plantationi in
Coconut palm Phase 2
Seedling orchid mango
GrowersJ shoul cotiu to 6 spa n avsttelretee omiti icm o he
years while the~~~~~~~ orcar tre are groing Othe cas crps eseial thse deirdo
th exor mBParkt such as b .ds( ~~ pupkn chyoe ya bens maaga, casava pigeon W~R
be inerplanteld bentwneen payadhav the row o mng trees i re to susntain income o througou
the year. Hillside farms require special considerations with regard to interplanted crops
as discussed later. Continuous vigilance must be exercised to prevent goats or other
animals from grazing on the mango trees among vegetable crops.
Once the orchard trees begin to grow they should be tip pruned regularly (about every
two months) to encourage rapid, branching
lateral stem growth. For example make the first tip prune
Stp purun when the plants are about 60 or 70 cm high.
Remove about 3 cm from the tip. The lateral
buds will soon spout lateral stems. Tip prune
those stems as soon as the new leaves become
hardened. Repeat this process for each stem
until the trees stand about 2 meters high (See
diagram). A sharp machete is the best tool for
The last tip prune should be done about 6 months
prior to the normal first flowering in the area. Four- percent potassium nitrate can be
sprayed on the trees six months after the last prune to stimulate synchronous flowering
throughout the trees. Thoroughly wet the undersides of all the leaves using backpack
sprayers. Repeat spray if flowering buds do not develop within two weeks. They should
flower before the need to repeat the pray for the third time. A typical plantation orchard
composed of five owners is shown below.
Phase 3. Fruit production in the first year of flowering of these orchard trees will likely
surpass that of the one or two large preexisting mango trees on each property within the
new plantation orchard. Each producer should cut the large trees to a height of one
meter, and sell the wood. Cut trees that are not Francique should be top worked (grafted)
to Francique and repeatedly tip pruned as described above until it is the same size as the
other orchard trees before stopping the frequent tip pruning. If the tree is already a
Francique type, then it should be tip pruned frequently as described above. They too will
come back in production about two years after they were cut. Breadfruit trees should also
be cut to about 2 meters to provide better light for the mango trees. They will come back
into production at a lower level as will the previously large mango trees.
The orchard trees should be tip pruned each year about six months prior to the desired
flowering time. This pruning event resynchronizes growth and flowering each year,
allowing for better anthracnose control with the fungicides. Once the trees reach a height
of 4 meters they should be pruned to the same height and width each year by making the
prune cuts a bit deeper than the previously used tip prune, which allowed the trees grow
to the desired size. In this way the grower will always have room to raise the other crops
planted between the rows.
Developing Hillside mango orchards. Hillside
mango orchards in the above-described program
will require a mechanism to retain sufficient
water in the mountain bedrock to sustain the
trees throughout the year. Mangoes naturally
grow in ravines on hillsides because seepage
water from periodic rains tends to collect there.
Trapping water to facilitate recharge can be
facilitated by installation of several check dams
up these ravines. Many such small check dams
have been constructed in Haiti where
deforestation has removed the ability to retain
I propose that lateral ditches extending around
the perimeter of hillsides from check dams could
help distribute periodic rainwater to sections of
the hills that do not normally retain water
efficiently (See diagram below). Such a series of
structures should be useful on slopes with
inclines of up to 45% .
anchor rod `~
3 Dimensional View
A cooperative producer group owning land up such a hillside could organize themselves
to purchase cement and steel rod, and with the help of an engineering advisor, build the
bottom check dam structure during the dry season. The mango trees, leguminous ground
cover, and other crops should be ready to transplant onto the hillside by the beginning of
the rainy season. It is critically important that this be done to restabilize the hillside soil
to prevent erosion. A perennial, forage legume, ground cover should be planted all over
the hillside for this purpose. Other commercial crops can include anything except root
crops. These should be avoided to minimize soil disturbance during harvest. The process
should be repeated at the next level up in the following year. Over time, the lateral
ditches, the mango trees, and cover crops will rehydrate and stabilize the entire hillside.
Field boxes. Boxes should be used instead of woven baskets, especially on the backs of
donkeys, to prevent physical damage to the fruit when transported from hillsides. I
suggest a mechanism be made to provide assistance so that boxes can be manufactured in
Haiti for this purpose. Molded plastic boxes utilizing recycled plastic would be ideal way
to provide a needed product, create jobs, and help clean the island in one operation. An
exporter has already expressed interest in building such a manufacturing plant. Each
grower should purchase the boxes. The boxes will be used to transport all of their crops.
Implementation of each of the above mentioned recommendations will result in
immediate and substantial increases in income for Haitian farmers. They are simple and
inexpensive to initiate. Because these recommendations were derived from those
participating in existing programs, growers, and exporters, they each see the rainbow of
substantially increased income. Innovative change will be slow to catch on, but after
producers and exporters see the success of each phase, more will be convinced to begin.
Once these programs are successfully in place with high production and exportation of
Francique type mangoes, it will be necessary to select and develop additional high quality
cultivars for export. Producers can begin to modify the timing of flowering as they learn
how to manage their orchards so that Haiti can produce mangoes in high quantity and
quality every month of the year. Moreover, as production increases it will be necessary
to strengthen old markets and develop new ones as previously mentioned to sustain the