Coffee and mango contribute significantly to Haiti’s agricultural gross domestic product and export revenues. Generating income valued at US$11 million in 2011, mango has become one of the country’s most important export commodities. In contrast, coffee exports steadily declined from $7 million to $1 million between 2000 and 2010, even though demand for high-quality Haitian coffee has actually increased on the global market.
Once a special food consumed on Sunday, rice has become the main staple of the Haitian diet, especially among low-income people. Imported rice accounts for the vast bulk (83 percent) of consumption. Current imports total some 380,000 tons annually, at a cost of $200 million a year. The irrigated Artibonite Valley region is, by far, the main rice production area in Haiti, accounting for up to 80 percent of national production.
The majority of Haiti’s population and a disproportionate number of the poor live in the rural areas. About 58% of rural households live in absolute poverty (based on a US$1 a day extreme poverty line). Haiti’s achievement of the Millennium Development Goals is unlikely, especially in rural areas.