The Rice Value Chain in Haiti
Trade liberalization in 1995 led to a surge in rice imports in Haiti, and today, foreign rice accounts for 83 percent of the supply of this main staple of the Haitian diet. This costs Haiti some $200 million annually, and leaves Haitian consumers vulnerable to spikes in volatile global prices. A substantial increase in local production is needed to reduce import dependence. But Haitian rice yields have stagnated for over two decades due to limited irrigation and poor maintenance of existing networks, poor soil and water conservation, lack of drying and milling facilities, limited government support for research and extension, and other problems.
This paper proposes a comprehensive new national rice policy, aimed at boosting farmers’ productivity and incomes. To bolster these investments, the paper proposes a price stabilization system that ensures that imported rice sells at a minimum entry price, with a variable tariff that rises when the price of imports falls below the minimum level. This system would not have a high impact on either producer or consumer prices.