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Agriculture and Food Security

Haitian cocoa farmer during planting.
Haitian cocoa farmer during planting.
Kendra Helmer

Overview

Roughly 2.5 million Haitians live in extreme poverty (below $1.25 per day), predominantly in rural areas. The economy is largely informal and heavily dependent on subsistence agriculture, which has languished in the face of growing rural population pressures, recurrent natural calamities, adverse climate change, and a lack of access to modern technology in the absence of a functional agricultural extension service.

 

USAID Strategy and Activities

USAID is focused on sustainably increasing farm households’ incomes through measures that upgrade farm-level technology, stabilize the hillsides above productive plains, and improve domestic and international market access for staple crops, including corn, rice, bean, plantain, and other vegetable value chains as well as cash crops, such as cacao and mangos. Improving incomes and livelihoods for Haitian households outside of agriculture hinges on strengthening Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), both technically and organizationally, and strengthening the value chains within which those businesses operate. USAID supports the creation of full-time, formal-sector employment in key industrial sectors, including agribusiness, apparel, and construction.

USAID’s work has led to increased agricultural yields and incomes. For example, in western Haiti, the introduction of appropriate agricultural inputs coupled with modern technologies resulted in increased yields in focus crops, including rice, maize, beans, and plantains. The average incomes of 60,000 farm households rose by 119 percent.

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Last updated: August 08, 2016

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