There has long been an active debate in Haiti—as in many other developing countries— over whether or not the customary tenure system constrains technology adoption and agricultural development, and whether cadaster and land titling should be national priorities. This paper contributes to this debate by reviewing and interpreting the body of literature and new empirical evidence concerning the relationship between land tenure and the adoption of technology in rural Haiti.
Haiti’s poverty is clearly indicated by deficits in human and physical capital. These deficits derive from a long history of external and internal oppression, and a system of governance marked by profound deficits in social capital – the networks of norms and trust that facilitate cooperation for mutual benefit. A better understanding of Haiti’s social capital helps clarify the social context of poverty and mechanisms of survival among the poor. It also points to policy issues that must be addressed by any serious effort to alleviate Haiti’s poverty.