Avocados are one of the most nutritious foods available to Haiti's rural population. The out-of-season varieties, Choquette and Lula, introduced by ORE earn considerable income for rural families.
Avocados are a blessing. In addition to economic and environment benefits of planting more trees, they have long been staple foods for the rural community supply essential nutritional elements benefits. The effects of malnutrition diminish during the major mango and avocado seasons.
ORE has focused on the propagation of two out-of-season avocado varieties, Choquette and Lula, originally introduced in Haiti in 1985. These varieties bear fruit from January to March, thereby extending the avocado season by 3 months. They consistently produce profitable yields, contribute to enhancing nutrition, as well as generating valuable income for the farmers during the first months of the year. Because the crops are harvested off-season they command high prices on the local market, both in the rural production areas and in the capital.
Avocado is one of the highest calorie fruits. It is high in protein, vitamins and other nutrients and is a major part of the peasant's diet when in season. Avocados have the highest energy value of any fruit are rich in oil and vitamin B, A and E. So in addition to creating a viable commercial industry, and protecting the environment, expanding the avocado season will also be of tremendous benefit to the nutrition of the rural population.
The local varieties are so diverse that it is impossible to collect homogenous fruits for industrial purposes, as required by export markets. In addition, the season for traditional varieties is generally restricted to the summer months, July-October. This results in a large volume of heterogeneous fruits selling at modest prices during a short period of the year. Grafting makes it possible to standardize fruit production and to expand the harvest periods, thereby creating large scale commercial production.
A look at avocados in Haiti
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