Haiti - Agricultural Sector Haiti - Agricultural Sector
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. Calculated from the Global Trade Atlas (GTA) and various other sources, Haiti’s food imports were valued at $902 million in 2018. Food imports increased 2.3 percent between FY 2017 and FY 2018.
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). More information on USDA's GSM-102 program can be found at https://www.fas.usda.gov/programs/export-credit-guarantee-program-gsm-102, or contact the Foreign Agriculture Service’s Office of Agricultural Affairs in Port au Prince (AgPortauPrince1@fas.usda.gov).
• Cereal products; malt, starch, wheat gluten
• Poultry, meat and edible meat offal
• Animal and vegetable fats, oils
• Miscellaneous food preparations
Rice is a staple food for a majority of Haitians. Although previously self-sufficient in this area at a time when Haitian consumed less rice per person, eighty percent of rice now consumed in Haiti is imported. The United States is especially competitive in long grain milled rice (less than 10 percent of whole or broken kernels of medium and short grain rice). The total amount of rice imported was valued at $238.5 million in 2018, which represented a 12 percent increase over 2017. Of that amount, $229 million of the imported rice came from the United States. U.S. exports of milled rice are typically 4 percent broken and packaged in 50 kg and 25 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 United States remains Haiti’s largest supplier of wheat, corn, sorghum and millet, as well as rice. U.S. exports of all cereal products increased from $239.71 million in 2017 to $253.12 million in 2018, representing a 5.6 percent increase.
Poultry, Meat and Edible Meat Offal
The United States is Haiti’s second major supplier of poultry. 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 Dominican Republic, on January 7, 2008, the government of Haiti instituted a ban on Dominican poultry and egg products. In June 2013, the Minister of Commerce and Industry declared that the government of Haiti lifted the ban on the meats, but the exporters have to fulfill the requirements of the Haitian government before exporting. Haiti imported $99.03 million worth of meat and edible meat offal during FY 2018, a 15.46 percent increase in comparison to 2017. For goods shipped elsewhere in Haiti, duties are collected through the state-owned National Credit Bank (BNC). Customs formalities can take from 24 to 48 hours if all forms are in order. Some importers complain that the customs clearance process is too lengthy and can result in detrimental delays.