Flag of Haiti

Agriculture and Food Security

The Challenge

For several decades, Haiti has faced significant food insecurity and nutritional challenges. Chronically high levels of poverty coupled with soil erosion, declining agricultural productivity, and high population growth combine to make obtaining adequate food a daily struggle for many Haitians. It is estimated that, in some departments of the country, up to 30 percent of children suffer from chronic malnutrition. Although approximately 60 percent of Haitians work in agriculture, up to half of Haiti’s food is imported.

USG Strategy

Food security is a priority sector of U.S. Government development strategy in Haiti. The U. S. Government’s global Feed the Future initiative is supporting the Government of Haiti’s priorities and working to ensure sustainable growth in the agricultural sector. The U.S. Government and its implementing partners are working with scientists to introduce Haitian farmers to new techniques and technologies, strengthen agricultural infrastructure along the entire value chain, and attract investments from private businesses. The overall aim is to increase crop yields and income for more than 100,000 farmer households. This investment will also help improve food security and nutritional status for the general population. To protect farmers’ investments in the plains, the U.S. Government is collaborating with the Government of Haiti and farmer associations on watershed management. A new approach was developed by planting valuable fruit trees together with ground cover, treating ravines, and introducing greenhouses to generate additional income for farmers. Additionally, the U.S. Government is helping to strengthen agricultural markets by rehabilitating rural roads, reducing post-harvest losses, providing market information, and facilitating public private partnerships.

The U.S. Government is working with the Government of Haiti to build the resilience of the most food insecure households with nutrition-focused safety net programming that includes interventions aimed at preventing malnutrition in children under two as well as the implementation of a national system of food vouchers for the most needy households. In 2012 and 2013, the U.S. Government responded to drought- and storm-generated food insecurity challenges by providing approximately $25 million in emergency resources for short-term employment, seeds, food rations, and food vouchers in the most affected parts of the country. An additional $8 million of Feed the Future funding was reprogrammed to repair damaged irrigation canals and roads and to provide seeds and other inputs to get farmers back in their fields north of Port-au-Prince in the Cul de Sac Plain.

Accomplishments

The U.S. Government has supported over 1.6 million people through its Feed the Future and Food for Peace development programs. Feed the Future activities are promoting agricultural production, natural resource management, and a modern post-harvest and marketing system. Food for Peace programs target the most food insecure and seek to reduce vulnerability and improve household resilience. Together, the Feed the Future and Title II-funded activities have accomplished the following:

  • Reached 140,000 Haitian families through the Mother and Child Health and Nutrition programs, which aim to prevent malnutrition in children under two years of age.
  • Provided short-term employment (cash for work) to 14,500 families who participated in projects focused on stabilizing watersheds through the establishment of soil and water conservation structures and improving farm-to-market roads.
  • Provided 48,576 students in 131 schools with one hot meal a day through Food for Education activities.
  • Provided technical assistance to improve home gardens, increase crop production using improved seeds, multiply seeds, establish seedling nurseries, plant trees, construct soil and water conservation structures, and strengthen the efficiency of irrigation systems.
  • Facilitated access by more than 4,000 farmers to high-yielding, drought-resistant, and short-cycle crop varieties to improve resiliency and yields.
  • Helped 9,500 fishermen, goat herders, artisans, poor farmers, and female heads-of-households to improve production, build business expertise, increase access to credit, and improve market linkages through training and other support.
  • Introduced improved seeds, fertilizer, and technologies to more than 55,000 farmers; these increased rice yields by 139 percent, corn yields by 448 percent, bean yields by 95 percent, and plantain yields by 56 percent in 2013 over the base year of 2009.
  • Increased the total sales by farmers supported through Feed the Future West from $7 million in 2010 to $12.9 million in 2013.
  • Developed new grafting technique for mangoes. Provided mobile collection centers, sorting tables, and plastic crates for mango harvesting. This increased mango sales by three farmer associations to exporters by 25 percent.
  • Enrolled nearly 24,000 farmers, 46 percent of who are women, in the Haiti Hope project—a partnership among USAID, The Coca-Cola Company, the Inter-American Development Bank’s Multilateral Investment Fund, and TechnoServe that aims to create opportunities for 25,000 Haitian mango farmers and their families.
  • Increased the income of 5,000 cacao growers by a minimum of 25 percent through partnerships with private-sector entities to train farmers in cocoa production.
  • Increased the economic benefits from sustainable natural resource management and conservation, benefitting nearly 1,200 people through ravine treatment, hillside rehabilitation, and improved technologies that have enhanced the quality of crop output.
  • Trained close to 2,000 master farmers since the inception of the project in 2009.
  • Provided over 22,000 families with monthly food vouchers.

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Last updated: May 05, 2014

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