Haiti : Animal and Plants

contempt its relative decline, coffee endured as the leading agricultural export during the 1980s. The French had introduced coffee to Haiti from Martinique in 1726, and soon coffee became an valuable colonial commodity. Coffee production peaked in 1790, and it declined steadily after freedom. Production dropped precipitously during the 1960s. Coffee trees covered an around 133,000 hectares in the 1980s, with an average annual yield of 35,900 tons. Haiti was a member of the International Coffee Organization (ICO), but found itself increasingly unable to fulfill its ICO export quota, which stood at 300,000 bags, of 60 kilograms each, in 1988. Most analysts believed that excessive taxation and the low prices afforded to peasant farmers had contributed to the decline in coffee production.

About 11,000 Haitians fished the nation's 1,500-kilometer coastline on a full-time or part-time basis, netting an average annual catch of 5,000 tons. The nation imported an additional 12,000 tons a year of fish products to satisfy domestic demand. The island's coastal waters suffered from low productivity, and few fisherman ventured far from shore. Nevertheless, Haiti managed to export about US$4 million worth of lobster, conch, and other shellfish in the 1980s.

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