This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
Last Published: 6/26/2017

Overview
The exodus of Haiti’s rural population to its major cities, coupled with a lack of agricultural capitalization, has hindered the development of food crops.  There is a strong demand for U.S. agribusiness firms to invest in Haiti and help boost domestic food production.  Haiti does not produce enough food to meet domestic demand, and must import a significant portion of the agricultural products it consumes.   The infrastructure required to transport food within Haiti is also poor.  Major food imports include cereals, vegetable fats and oils, dairy products, meat, and poultry.  U.S. exports of rice, processed food, wheat, and poultry are good market prospects.  According to Haitian Central Bank (BRH) figures, Haiti’s food imports were greater than $955 million in 2015, nearly a quarter of total imports, and totaled $751.29 million in 2016.  Food imports decreased 21.33 percent between FY 2015 and FY 2016, as the Haitian economy began to slowdown in FY 2016.
 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) authorizes credit guarantees to Haiti under the Commodity Credit Corporation's (CCC) Export Credit Guarantee Program (referred to as GSM-102). Twenty agricultural commodities are accredited under the GSM-102 authorization, including rice, vegetable oil, poultry, wheat, and wheat flour.  For more information on USDA's GSM-102 program, contact the Foreign Agriculture Service's Information Division in Washington, D.C. at www.usda.gov/wps/portal

Sectors:

  • Rice
  • Cereal products; malt, starch, wheat gluten
  • Poultry, meat and edible meat offal
  • Animal and vegetable fats, oils
  • Miscellaneous Food Preparations

Rice:
Rice is a staple food for a majority of Haitians.  Although previously self-sufficient in this area, eighty percent of rice now consumed in Haiti is imported.  The U.S. is especially competitive in medium quality (10 to 20 percent broken) milled rice and in best quality (2 percent) broken rice.  The total amount of rice imported was valued at $196 million in 2016, which represented a 0.48 percent increase over 2015.  Of that amount, $190 million of the imported rice came from the U.S.  U.S. exports of milled rice are typically 4 percent broken and packaged in 50 kg bags.

Cereal Products - Malt, Flour, Starch, and Wheat Gluten:
Cereal products, especially wheat and flour, are major components of the Haitian diet.  Haiti, however, does not produce sufficient milled grains to satisfy domestic demand.  After rice, other cereal products are the second largest category of U.S. agricultural exports to Haiti.  The U.S. remains Haiti’s largest supplier for wheat, sorghum and millet as well as rice, while the Dominican Republic has become Haiti’s largest corn provider.  U.S. exports of all cereal products decreased from $216.48 million in 2015 to $206.87 million in 2016, representing a 4.43 decrease.
 

 

2014

2015

2016

Total Local Production

**

**

**

Total Exports

0

0

0

Total Imports / World

301.30

283.28

238.00

Imports from the US
 

222.60

216.40

206.87

Total Market Size

301.30

283.28

238.00

Exchange Rates

44.70

50.85

63.05

(total market size = (total local production + imports) – exports

Poultry, Meat and Edible Meat Offal:
The U.S. is Haiti’s second major supplier of poultry, after the Dominican Republic.  Over the past several years, decreases in the availability of local livestock and increasing feed prices that forced Haitian farms out of business have also factored into the rising demand for poultry imports.  Following the detection of the H5N2 avian flu virus in the DR, on January 7, 2008, the GOH instituted a ban on Dominican poultry and egg products that remains in effect.  Haiti imported $80 million worth of meat and edible meat offal during FY 2016, a 4.29 percent increase in comparison to 2015.

Miscellaneous Processed Food: 
The total value of prepared foods exported to Haiti from the U.S. was $11.36 million in 2014 and $10.72 million in 2015.  Processed food imports from the U.S. slightly increased to $11.31 million in 2016.  Haitian production of miscellaneous processed food products is controlled by the informal sector and accurate figures are unavailable for local production and exports. 

 

2014

2015

2016

Total Local Production

**

**

**

Total Exports

**

**

**

Total Imports / World

139.15

87.89

22.42

Imports from the US
 

11.36

10.72

11.31

Total Market Size

139.15

87.89

22.42

(total market size = (total local production + imports) - exports)

Leading Sub-Sectors
The Haitian agriculture sector has high potential for organic product development that could sustain exports to the U.S. and the European markets.  As a member of the African, Caribbean and Pacific trade agreement, and under the Bali Accord, Haiti enjoys duty free and preferential access to the European markets for most agricultural products.   Haiti’s soil, topography, and climate is suitable for the cultivation of organic fruits and vegetables, cocoa, sorghum, and beans, providing high developmental potential for food processing and agribusiness.

The best product prospects include: mangoes, sisal, bananas, vetiver oil, Arabica coffee, and cacao.  Vetiver oil is an “essential oil” used for the production of cosmetics, perfumes, and medicinal products.  Total exports of coffee and tea were valued at $730,000 in 2016, lower than 2015, when exports reached $951,000.  Total exports of cacao were valued at $7.3 million, representing a decrease of 13.89 percent over 2015.  Total exports of essential oils were valued at $32.07 million in 2016, a 22 percent increase over $26.29 million in 2015.


Opportunities
The Government of Haiti  has identified agribusiness and the expansion of agriculture investment as a priority for economic development.  A number of private investments are already underway in different regions of the country, including (1) a $50 million World Bank-funded project to strengthen Haiti’s agricultural sector and increase farmers access to agricultural extension services, (2) a Dole Food Company’s $45 million project, and (3) a $5 million sisal project in the southern Haiti.  In addition to the aforementioned products, areas for priority investment include: sugar cane and its derivatives, citrus, rice and aquaculture.  In 2016, the total value of vegetables, dairy produce, beverages, fruits, and nuts imported was $89 million.

Web Resources
Haitian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIH)
Adresse: 4ème étage, Immeuble Digicel, #151 angle Ave Jean Paul II & imp. Duverger,Turgeau
Port-au-Prince, Haïti
Tel: (509) 2946-7777 / 2943-1173
Email: directionexecutive@ccih.org.ht
Website: Haitian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIH)
(Ms. Carline Joseph President)
(Ms. Kim Sassine, Executive Director)
 
Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
Puits Blain 6, vers Frere
Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Tel: (509) 2812-5000 / 2812-5009 / 2812-5060 / 2812-5012
E-mail: bidhaiti@iadb.org
Website: Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
 
Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development
H.E. Carmel Andre Beliard
Damien. Rte Nationale #1
Croix des Missions
Port-au-Prince, Haïti
Tel: (509) 2510-3916/ 2943-2851
Fax: (509) 2298 3014
 
Minister of Environment
H.E. Pierre Simon Georges
Pacot Rue 4
Port-au-Prince, Haïti
Tel: (509) 2245-7572   2244-2338
Fax: (509) 2245-7360

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.


More Information

Haiti Agribusiness Trade Development and Promotion