This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
Last Published: 2/14/2019

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 Global Trade Atlas (GTA) figures, Haiti’s food imports were valued at $881.60 million in 2017.  Food imports increased 14 percent between FY 2016 and FY 2017, as the Haitian economy began to slowdown in FY 2017.
 
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 (Fritzner.Cledo@fas.usda.gov).  

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 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 $213 million in 2017, which represented an 8.67 percent increase over 2016. 
  • Of that amount, $204 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 of wheat, corn, sorghum and millet as well as rice. U.S. exports of all cereal products increased from $206.85 million in 2016 to $239.71 million in 2017, representing a 15.89 increase.
 
 2014201520162017
Total Local Production******77.85
Total Exports0000.43
Total Imports / World301.30283.28238.00302.50
Imports from the US
 
222.60216.40206.87239.71
Total Market Size301.30283.28238.00337.35
Exchange Rates44.7050.8563.0567.57
(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. 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 Trade and Industry declared that the government of Haiti raised the ban on the meats but the exporters have to fulfill the requirements of the Haitian government before exports. Haiti imported $85.77 million worth of meat and edible meat offal during FY 2017, a 7.2 percent increase in comparison to 2016.
 
Miscellaneous Processed Food
The total value of prepared foods exported to Haiti from the U.S. was $10.72 million in 2015 and $11.31 million in 2017. Processed food imports from the U.S. increased to $23.25 million in 2017. Haitian production of miscellaneous processed food products is controlled by the informal sector and accurate figures are unavailable for local production and exports.
 
 
 2014201520162017
Total Local Production********
Total Exports********
Total Imports / World139.1587.8922.42104.95
Imports from the US
 
11.3610.7211.3123.25
Total Market Size139.1587.8922.42104.95
(Total market size = (total local production + imports) - exports)
 
(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 is less impacted by chemical fertilizers and pesticides and its climate is suitable for the cultivation of tropical fruits, 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 were valued at $742,700 in 2017, lower than 2015, when exports reached $951,000.
  • Total exports of cacao were valued at $9 million, representing a increase of 23.29 percent over 2016. 
  • Total exports of essential oils were valued at $43.62 million, a 36 percent increase over $32.07 million in 2016.

Opportunities

The government of Haiti  has identified agribusiness and the expansion of agricultural investment as a priority for economic development. A number of private investments are already underway in different regions of the country.
 
In addition to the aforementioned products, areas for priority investment include: sugar cane and its derivatives, citrus, rice and aquaculture. In 2017, the total value of vegetables, dairy produce, beverages, fruits, and nuts imported was $117.25 million.
 
Approximately 60,000 low-income micro-entrepreneurs are insured against natural disasters through an IFC/Micro/Fonkoze partnership. This helps protect their livelihoods against weather-related risks and natural disasters.

Web Resources

Individuals or firms interested in exporting agricultural or food products to Haiti should be aware that there is an office of USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) located in the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince. Contact information for the FAS Office of Agricultural Affairs (OAA) is as follows:
 
USDA-Office of Agricultural Affairs
U.S. Embassy
Port au Prince, Haiti
Phone: (509) 2229-8401
E-mail: Fritzner.Cledo@fas.usda.gov     
Website: http://www.FAS.USDA.gov
 
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: http://www.ccih.org.ht
(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: www.iadb.org
 
Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development
Joubert C. Anglad
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
 
Quarantine Department/Ministry of Agriculture
Charlemagne Pierre
Rue Chabiscot, Clercine 20
Port-au-Prince Haiti
Tel: (509) 3128-7333   3479-3517

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More Information

Haiti Agribusiness Trade Development and Promotion