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Agriculture is the primary activity for about one million (1,000,000) small farm households holding an average of 1.5 hectares under various land tenure systems. In the past two decades, agricultural production growth has stagnated and food imports have escalated. Imported rice has virtually replaced domestically produced and preferred rice. Food imports represented 23% of total imports in 2007 and have steadily increased over the years, and thus widening the trade deficit. The 1994 US embargo, neglect of the agricultural sector, food aid, policies encouraging freer trade and the promotion of import consumption have been blamed for the decline in domestic cereal and food production. However, there has not been a complete economic analysis on production and import substitution, combined with competitive advantage analysis of food production and consumption, to determine where Haiti has a comparative advantage in the production of certain crops. In this paper, we use an AIDS model to determine production, consumption, substitution and the competiveness of selected Haitian food crops in the global marketplace. There are production and consumption trade-offs in the use of various policy options. While Haiti may not be technologically competitive in all agricultural products, transaction costs and consumer preference give producers a comparative advantage in the production and consumption of certain crops. Policy makers should use this information to reallocate resources to promote the production and consumption of competitive crops grown in Haiti.


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