Will vanilla beans grow in Haiti?
April 18, 2013
Can you grow orchids? Then you can probably grow vanilla bean as long as you understand the needed horticultural practices and environment that will give you success.
With the Haitian climate it should be possible to grow vanilla beans but be advised this is a plant that takes up to ten years to produce a harvest, and through those ten years the grower is working very, very hard.
The vanilla bean is one of the most labour intensive plants to bring to harvest. It requires regular hand-pollination and other labour-intensive horticultural care, and again, it can take as long as ten years to see a harvest.
The whole process is expensive, from buying the starter plants (even though the grower has to hand pollinate, he/she will need at least three plants to even hope for a small harvest for home use) to bringing it along to harvest, so you will need to be sure this is something you have the money, land, and time for. One of the biggest investments besides having the land out-of-production for so long would be the need to make the soil right for cultivation and that soil amendment/correction is not a one time high cost activity. Keeping the soil right is a 24/7/365 on-going process. Miss one day keeping the soil right and you could lose your crop, and again, this goes for the three you might be growing for home use.
If you have the land available to dedicate to multiple plantings that you can also afford to have non-productive for a very long period of time, vanilla bean growing can be extremely lucrative. The plant, native to other sub-tropical climates like Haiti's, is incredibly expensive to grow, so it is therefore priced to sell at a very high price-thus making it a very lucrative crop!
The following link takes you to an article that makes it seem fairly easy (HA!) but does have some interesting info:
This link describes the work involved in large scale growing: