November 1, 2022
Mr. Jorge Abad
Area Director for Central America and the Caribbean
USDA APHIS PPQ Preclearance and Offshore Programs
4700 River Road, Unit 66
Riverdale, MD 20737
RE: Mango Preclearance Program in Haiti
Dear Mr. Abad,
We are writing as partner organizations to groups working with small-scale producers in Gros Morne, Haiti.
Mangos are the principle cash crop in Gros Morne, and most are exported to the United States through ANEM. We understand from your letter to ANEM dated October 24, that USDA will suspend the mango preclearance program in Haiti by the end of January 2023, effectively eliminating mango exports from Haiti to the US.
At a time of widespread food insecurity and hunger in Haiti, this decision will decimate the entire agricultural economy of Gros Morne, and will impact an estimated 150,000 to 200,000 small scale producers across the country. In addition to the producers who grow the mangos, many families are involved in the washing, handling, and transport parts of the supply chain. These families depend on this income to send their kids to school and buy the food they need to survive.
We understand that the security situation in Haiti is very challenging, and that the safety of your staff is crucial. We urge you to reconsider this decision and work with mango producers directly to develop a plan that protects your staff and at the same time preserves the mango preclearance program. Haitians are facing numerous challenges already. With this decision, families in Gros Morne and elsewhere in Haiti will now face the elimination of much of their household income.
We look forward to dialogue with you, and we would love to meet with you to discuss options.
Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns
Religious of Jesus & Mary, US-Haiti Province
Sr. Kathy Thornton
Mercy Focus on Haiti