Chicken meat production in Haiti has nearly tripled in the past five years due to significant and successful public and private programs and investments. Rising consumption will support further production increases in the near term. However, imports will remain critical to fulfilling rising consumption, according to a USDA Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report, available here GAIN.

Poultry meat is one of the preferred meats of Haitian people, along with goat, pork and beef. However, chicken meat remains the most consumed meat as it is readily availability on the market and its cost is affordable for low-income households.

The consumption of chicken meat is expected to reach 105,000 MT Ready To Cook (RTC) in 2018, which represents an increase of 22 percent compared to 2017. This increase is primarily due to rising per capita consumption, which was 7.83 kilograms in 2017 and is forecast to be 9.45 kilograms in 2018.

Haitians typically eat chicken as nuggets, fried and broiled chicken meat, or in barbecue. Purchases are made in public markets, supermarkets and street vendor selling points. Most people eat at home, but a few people eat at restaurants formal and informal.

Imports still account for most of consumption, but domestic production is growing rapidly to meet rising demand. While production nearly tripled between 2013 and 2017, imports rose nearly one third during the same period.

Two categories of breeders are involved in Haitian production: commercial farms and backyard farms. The commercial farms are the most organized group and include several operators working at different levels of the poultry meat production chain.  The primary operators are the suppliers of chicks.  In 2010 and 2011, Haiti, imported respectively 586,388 and 481,080 chicks from the United States.

Since 2012, a new industry dynamic has developed as the Haitian government and international partners launched the Financial and Agricultural Insurance System to support poultry breeders.  An investment of U.S.$10 million was made in the poultry sector, which improved companies’ access to financing.  Additionally, a multinational company launched its own hatchery in February 2012, which increased chick production capacity to 558,000 chicks per month.

Back yard farms are not structured and are primarily a family activity.  Domestic chickens are mixed breads grown for family consumption as well as sold in local markets.  Production is generally free-range and corn-fed.  Although the product is well-received by Haitians, supply is well below the demand, which, in turn, affects the price.  From 2010 to 2013, backyard farms accounted for approximately 55 percent production.  However, since 2014, they have represented less than 40 percent.

Haiti imports primarily frozen chicken leg quarters, legs and drummettes. Imports are primarily destined for street vendors and public markets, with the rest going to supermarkets and restaurants. Traditionally a U.S. market, the origin of imports has been changing in recent years.

While the United States held a 92 percent market share up through 2013, that market share dropped to 77 percent in 2017. January to June 2018 trade data suggests that the U.S. market share will further erode to less than 70 percent in the near term. While Brazilian shipments have risen, purchases from the European Union have increased more dramatically and account for the majority of U.S. displacement, primarily due to prices.

 

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