Many developing countries are stuck in small, low-productivity farms. Such countries also have poor property rights institutions, which create transaction costs towards reallocating land to large farms. I look at how transaction costs from historical property rights institutions affected the agricultural structure of Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
Political and economic shocks have destabilized agrarian livelihoods in Haiti since the country won its independence from France in 1804. Yet the current conjuncture demonstrates a new convergence of ecological, economic, and political pressures in postcolonial rural spaces like Haiti’s central hinterland.
Poverty is rampant in Haiti. In 2000 three-fourths of the population lived on less than the equivalent of two US dollars per day and half on less than one dollar. Ten years later, in the middle of this poverty, the earthquake struck. Poverty is no newcomer to Haiti. It has been a steady companion for the last half-century or even century. Low incomes have forced Haitians to leave their country to an increasing extent.
One major factor that has been reported to contribute to chronic poverty and malnutrition in rural Haiti is soil infertility. There has been no systematic review of past and present soil interventions in Haiti that could provide lessons for future aid efforts.
Since the beginning of 2000s, in order to let poor people accede to meat consumption, several developing countries have opened their domestic chicken market to foreign imports, by reducing import tariffs. Thus local chicken meat competes with frozen pieces of chicken imported from the European Union or America, causing the loss of many jobs in the local chicken food chain.
Many policies - on the delivery of inputs or on marketing systems, credit, or extension - influence the potential utilization of new technologies. Through 'farm-based policy analysis' it is possible to use data generated in on-farm research (OFR) to identify policy constraints to the use of new technologies, and to effectively communicate that information to policy makers.