Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, and the second most densely populated. The country is ranked 77 out of 79 in the 2012 Global Hunger Index and suffers from a dramatic income gap. The poorest 40 percent of the population have access to less than 6 percent of the country’s income, while the richest 2 percent control 26 percent of the national wealth (IFAD 2012). Access to sufficient quantities of nutritious food remains an issue for millions of Haitians. An estimated 3.8 million Haitians, or 38 percent of the population, is food insecure (WFP 2012).

Haiti’s overall poverty rate is 77 percent. However, in rural areas, which account for 52 percent of the country’s population, 88 percent of the population is poor and 67 percent lives in extreme poverty. Per capita income in rural areas is approximately one-third that of urban areas. Only 10 percent of rural populations have access to electricity, and less than 8 percent have access to safe drinking water (IFAD 2012).

Haiti is a food deficit country (WFP 2012). Fifty percent of the country’s food requirements are imported, and food prices have been consistently rising since the end of 2010. This increase has led to an overall loss of purchasing power for the majority of Haitians. Low agricultural productivity and urban encroachment on arable land provide additional challenges for Haiti’s rural populations. Average land holdings are less than 1 ha in size (IFAD 2012). Only one in every five farmers depends solely on farming his or her own land. Eighty percent of farms fail to produce enough to feed their households. Other income-generating activities include wage labor on larger farms, extraction of sand, chalk, or charcoal, and small-scale trade. Remittances are crucial for the survival of the poorest populations, accounting for 15 percent of rural incomes.

Haiti is also plagued by climate-related disasters such as floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes. In January 2010, Haiti was struck by a powerful earthquake that left more than 220,000 people dead and millions displaced. This disaster was followed by a widespread outbreak of cholera in October 2010.

Agricultural Production
Agricultural Production2013201420152016
Rice Production
FAO 2016
169,300 MT143,650 MT137,000 MT140,359 MT
Maize Production
FAO 2016
335,885 MT320,747 MT309,758 MT303,981 MT
Agricultural Exports
Agricultural Exports2013201420152016
Rice Exports
FAO 2016
MT43.00 MT67.00 MT126.00 MT
Maize Exports
FAO 2016
MT MT1.00 MT1.00 MT
Agricultural Imports
Agricultural Imports2010201120122013
Rice Imports
FAO 2013
465,613 MT397,654 MT394,340 MT424,517 MT
Wheat Imports
FAO 2012
80,623 MT19,800 MT42,960 MT85,000 MT
Maize Imports
FAO 2016
16,964 MT2,991 MT4,475 MT17,676 MT
Soybean Imports
FAO 2016