Agriculture plays a dominant role in the Haitian economy. In 2019, it was contributing about 22% of GDP, accounting for around 50% of overall employment, 66% of employment in rural areas, and 75% of employment in low income households. In rural areas, 88% of individuals live below the poverty level and more than half earn less than $1 a day. Over one million families own mainly small-scale subsistence farms, with an average farm size less than one hectare. The main agricultural crops include maize, tubers, mangoes, coffee, avocados, citrus, rice, sorghum, beans, cocoa; of which mangoes, coffee, cocoa, together with essential oils, represent the main Haitian exports. Producers typically use outdated and ineffective technologies in terms of planting materials, soil conservation or pest management techniques, and hardware is limited to hand tools – resulting in low farm income levels, land degradation, increased vulnerability of farmers to natural hazards, and also food insecurity.
The project aims to increase agricultural income and food security for smallholder farmers in select areas of Haiti by increasing agricultural productivity and improving the use of natural resources through the adoption of sustainable production and post-harvest and processing technologies and through greater access to complementary value chain services. This will enable a more efficient use of resources, will provide higher outputs, and when paired with improved capacities to access markets, will contribute to increase agricultural income. Higher food production and income together with improved knowledge on nutritious diets and other best practices will facilitate households making consumption decisions on goods and services that improve food and nutrition security.