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#4108: Re: Produce our own food; Simidor adds (fwd)


Hudicourt raises a fundamental question that no self-respecting government 
can afford to ignore: why can't the Haitian nation feed itself?  Protecting 
Haitian agriculture, even if it comes with higher prices, would trickle down 
to the Port-au-Prince slums whose inhabitants would thrive as retailers and 
as recipients of provisions from back home.  So the opposition to a 
protectionist policy would not necessarily come from the poor (urban or 
rural), whose wishes and needs hardly ever matter anyway to governments 

Those who oppose protectionism in Haitian agriculture are the multinational 
corporations and the international financial institutions that have 
accelerated Haiti's dependency and the breakdown of the local economy, 
beginning with the destruction of the Creole pig twenty years ago.  Those are 
the forces that will not allow the kind of drastic economic and political 
reorientation that could keep the specter of hunger and famine at bay.  

What kind of agrarian reform or development policy would enable Haiti to feed 
itself into the 21st century?  Will the coming Lavalas government have the 
courage to confront its foreign "donors" over this and other issues? So far, 
there appears to be a real consensus among all the contending electoral 
parties to focus attention as much as possible on personality conflicts and 
trivia, the better to avoid any serious discussion of the country's endemic 

Daniel Simidor