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#4192: Produce our own food/Food security aspect : A comment (fwd)

From: M Schumann <schumannm@hotmail.com>

I think that I can see both sides of this debate: On the one hand, it does 
appear that the imported food market in Haiti is another example of either 
foreign exploitation of the poor country or internal exploitation of the 
populace by a small group of wealthy Haitian importers. On the other hand, 
without this market there would be even more starvation.

I lived at the house of a farmer in St. Rafeal for some time in '96. He 
would be considered a successful farmer by most standards, with a good 
amount of arable land at his disposal. His analysis of the situation is that 
the cost of getting the food to market makes growing more food undesirable. 
For him, it is all about the condition of the roads, plain and simple. He 
even thinks that various influences have worked against the improvement of 
the roads for the very purpose of keeping the country dependent upon 
imported foods. Has anyone heard this argument before?

In any case, it does appear to me that the cost of getting the food to 
market would be a major, if not the biggest, factor in reducing the 
necessity of imported foods in Haiti. Perhaps some of these many Christian 
organizations that operate in Haiti should refocus their efforts away from 
barely touchable social ills, such as the restaveks, and begin to look 
toward changes that would really make a difference, such as infrastructure. 
Just a suggestion.
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