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#4094: Produce our own food. (fwd) A reply. Math Jerome (fwd)


If Haiti wants to get out of the state of dependency it's in and claim a 
place among "Independent Nations", no question that it will have to start 
severing the umbilical cord and begin towards the goal of self reliance. Food 
of course is the most obvious item to be concerned about, since it must 
account for at least 50% of the national consumption. How to start that 
process is really the big issue for debate. It is not just a matter of 
passing an edict and declare that henceforth all imports are prohibited. 
There is a lot of study and planning involved, to determine the available 
resources and potentials of the land the available state power to enforce the 
edict and the provisions for infractions. As you know, this is a whole can of 
worms right here. The fact that food gets imported at such a high rate at 
this time has to do with many factors, namely the erosion of the arable land, 
the drying up of the river beds, the dispossession of the peasant farmer of 
the already too divided plots of land because of creeping poverty, the out of 
control overpopulation that is spreading from every location like oil spots 
and devouring the farmable land, the underexploitation of still available 
large acreages of land owned by absentee landlords who either stole them from 
the state through fraudulently obtained titles or bought them for a song and 
are just waiting for the next state road to be built nearby to make a killing 
after dividing them up for homesites. Add to that as spice the typically 
Haitian predilection for anything foreign,etc.... etc...... It will take more 
than good will or a simple wish to get that process going. You practically 
need a REVOLUTION. Are you ready for it? And while we are at it, let's also 
limit the number of cars that come in like some latin american countries 
already do. If you have tried to go from Petion Ville to Port au Prince 
during school season at around 7:00 am or negotiate the Carrefour road 
anytime, or go to Freres from Petion Ville any time of the day during the 
week, you will know what I am talking about. What about furnitures, clothing, 
shoes etc...? You see, after 35 or so years of decadence, there are only very 
few really qualified artisans in any field and the good ones leave for 
greener pastures. The so called professions and the non artisanal areas of 
endeavor aren't exempt either. Our music shows a complete lack of imagination 
and creativity and our population finds nothing better to idolize but someone 
who built his popularity out of insulting women, insulting the public through 
his unnecessary four letter rantings. This of course speaks volume about the 
state of mind of that population itself. Haitians of good will who try to 
return to the country and bring their expertise are very soon discouraged by 
the lack of support from the population or the particular group that happens 
to hold the reins of government at the time. No incentive is offered to 
anyone who wants to start a new enterprise. Instead, the cost of setting a 
business must include kickbacks to well placed individuals, and once your 
business is open, the "agents the contribution" come calling. Pay up. Since 
there are no rules, or at least none that's ever applied, they set the fees 
very high in order to entice you to negotiate. With them, in private of 
course. And so on and so forth.
 Are you ready for a REVOLUTION? Do you think Haiti is? Believe me it won't 
be just a question of the poor screaming bloody murder. It fact the general 
populace would be the least to complain. The cries of the poor could easily 
be quelled through government subsidies in the form of a food voucher 
program, that's what would be left of such vouchers after the pillage by the 
middle class and the so called elite. How would you deal with those that 
still want the privilege of importing their oil and their sugar. Besides, 
have you thought of the incoming demon called globalization? How would you 
deal with that on the international level? So many links but so few concerned 
 I do applaud your having thought this up to bring it up for discussion. May 
be if we all start talking about it, some ideas will finally catch hold in 
the head of our policy makers in Haiti.