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Agriculture and Food Security

Haitian farmer at a Feed the Future demonstration plot.


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 more than 50 percent of Haitians work in agriculture, up to half of Haiti’s food is imported.

Our Work

Food security is a priority sector of the U.S. Government’s 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 across 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 improve food security and nutritional status for the general population. To protect farmers’ investments in the plains and promote sustainable farming practices, the U.S. Government is collaborating with the Government of Haiti and farmer associations on watershed management. A new approach focuses on 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.

As it works to help strengthen the agricultural sector, the U.S. Government is collaborating with the Government of Haiti to build the resilience of food insecure households. This approach centers on using 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 vulnerable households. For example, as of September 2014, the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Office of Food for Peace has provided $12.6 million in aid to address the food security crisis in the North West and West Departments of Haiti. This funding will provide affected communities with food vouchers, food aid, and medical screenings, and will supply 20,000 affected farming families with seeds and planting material for major food crops. Additionally, this programming aims to create and strengthen a system of social funds to help communities cope with emergency situations and create a community-based self-insurance system.

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Last updated: February 10, 2016

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