For years, Haiti has been considered an agricultural nation. It was the richest Colony of its time contributing to France’s opulence because of its sugar production. After its independence from France , the land was redistributed to the ex-slaves, destroying the plantation system of agriculture. Consequently, Haiti’s agriculture became one mostly of subsistence with some cash crops being cultivated alongside the food crops. Through the years, most of Haiti’s exports have been in cash crops and derivative products like coffee, cacao, sugar, sisal. Today, Haiti’s agricultural exportation have seriously decreased. Haiti’s subsistence crop production has also suffered a great decline. That is because Haiti’s agricultural production as a whole has become inadequate to feed its people and generate revenue for the country through exportation of cash crops. Out of the 420,000 tons of rice consumed in Haiti, 340,000 tons are imported. Out of the 31 million eggs consumed in Haiti, 30 million are imported from the Dominican Republic. Many factors have contributed to that decline.
The increase in fertilizer prices, have forced farmers to choose between sending their children to school and buying fertilizer. The lack of subsidizing of the Haitian farmers by the government coupled with the low prices of imported food crops have discouraged many farmers from remaining in their profession. Many have emigrated to the Capital or to foreign countries. Deforestation is another great problem. There are only 2% of Haiti’s original forest left. As a result, torrential rains have washed away the top soil leaving only 11% of Haiti’s lands suitable for agriculture. Furthermore, the low level of technology used in the practice have kept Haiti’s agriculture at the primitive level.
TDJ intends on developing Haiti’s agriculture one farm at a time. First, we will modernize the practice by introducing machines and proper irrigation techniques. We will then consolidate land by forming cooperatives with farmers that are willing to unite their own piece of land into a territory large enough to cultivate large amounts of food crops for national consumption and exportation.