Production Efficiency and Market Development of Peanuts and Peanut Products for Haiti, Dominican Republic, and Jamaica
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Ghana); Organisation for the Promotion of Organic Agriculture in Benin - OBEPAB (Benin); Centre de Recherche et Documentation Agricole - CRDA (Haiti)
Peanut is an important secondary crop grown throughout most of the rural portions of Haiti, Dominican Republic and Jamaica. However, little effort has gone into improving production efficiency. In Haiti peanut is grown mainly by low-resource farmers on small hillside farms, often on land deemed unsuited for any of the primary staple crops. Fertilizers or other external inputs are generally not used. Yields are low due to soil fertility, disease, and insect problems, and low genetic potential of domestic varieties. A large portion of the crop is consumed at the farm level. The rest is either traded directly, or converted to oil, paste, or peanut butter. Some are used for the production of candy at the local level. It has been stated that the capital turn over ratio from the processing at the local level ranges from 1.36 for candies to 3.45 for oil production. It is believed that as exports play a lesser role in the Haitian economy, rural households will become more dependent on the processing of local products such as peanuts in order to increase their incomes. Yet very little research has been conducted to determine the role of peanuts in the rural farm budget and the market potential of this crop.
In the Dominican Republic and Jamaica, peanut production is more geared towards commercialization than in Haiti, where a large portion is consumed at the farm level. Efficiency is, however, extremely low by world standards. Peanut yields hover at less than 75 percent of the world average. The poor production efficiency record in Dominican Republic has caused peanut output to fall to one third of the level attained in 1975. Similar consumption and distribution patterns of peanuts exist in Jamaica, but will be treated by other colleagues. However, in these countries peanut is still considered a snack food and its true market potential is unexplored because of its limited use. In this research the role of peanuts in increasing farm revenue will be studied.
Auburn University has a long tradition of systems approaches to management of peanut. Achievements include the AU-Peanuts leaf spot model, that utilizes only a rain gage and weather forecast to monitor the need of peanut leaf spot control, and the degree-day model for lesser corn borer that predicts insect damage to pegs and pods based on average high temperature and days without rain. Researchers at Auburn University are experienced in on-farm and market research in Haiti and other Caribbean and African countries. The techniques used in rural household and market research in Haiti and other Caribbean and African countries will be applied where possible in peanut CRSP research in Haiti, Dominican Republic and Jamaica.