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#4386: Coffee Vs. Textile : Poincy replies to Morse

From: Jean Poincy <caineve@idt.net>

Morse, you are entitled to make criticism as you please. There is no
need to ensure that your comment is not a criticism. Without criticism
there is no fuel for debate. I grow from criticism. I don't shield
myself as a victim of criticism; rather, I step back and gather steam to
stike right back in debating issues. I make sure I carry the baggage
when I engage in an issue. Please, don't excuse yourself, feel at ease
and say whatever you feel worth of saying. Agree with them or not your
observations do make sense and values; otherwise I would not bother. The
only thing that is hard for me to digest is sarcasm when issues are at

Take for instance some very hot debates on Corbettland that have lost
steam at their boiling point. They hard to hold once one makes his/her
ideas prevail and opponents take retreat. When all agree there is
nothing more to say that catches attention of the audience, there is no
more light to shed. The current is unilateral. Issues brought up are
stale. Only frictions brings fuel to life. I find it damaging not to
accept any challenge whatsoever coming from any end. Some allow one to
inculcate the notions in the audience, others allow the debater to
reflect on his/her position, make a reevaluation to see things that s/he
never saw before. Unable to do so shows an arrested position. Debaters
are to be expandable. Enough gossip! Let's get to our matter.

Agro-industry is the type of economic strategy intended to boost an
economy, as it would create forward linkages. For that matter, Manigat
got it right. The development of agriculture would create the necessity
to bring other activities into being. They would be the support base of
the booming primary sector from transforming the raw product and making
it ready for ultimate use by the end consumer. That ranges from
refining, storing, packaging, transporting, trading, financing to
bookkeeping to say the least. However, its success would depend on the
target market at its initial stage. If it is geared toward the local
market economic success is a sure thing. If it is geared toward the
international market, the country is in deep trouble. 

That's what makes the difference between the coffee and textile
industry. The coffee industry fails for a number or reasons. 

1: due to its cash crop export nature, it is never recognized to be a
base for economic development. Not only the price of such product is
determined on the international market, competition is heavy among third
world nations. 
2: its price volatility prevents it from generating hard currencies
expected from its export to finance local economic development. 
3: it is not a product that everyone on this planet has a need for. In
other words the world can go without it.

Let's agree that it could generate enough hard currencies. The problem
remains that such proceeds make an automatic U-turn to where they come
from as they are used to import other products (food and textile
products for instance) that Ayiti neglect to produce in order promote
coffee production or cash crop production. Let's even agree that's not
the case; it is too cheap on the international market to generate enough
money to invest in economic development. 

That's not all. Even in the absence of all the above, its nature does
not allow for the development of derivative industries. The
opportunities for linkages are very slim. The coffee industry has a
failing nature in regards to economic development. Moreover the damage
its emphasis has caused to the agriculture is somewhat beyond repair as
arable lands that would be dedicated to food crops are converted to
conduct cash crops production.

What makes the textile industry promising is the reverse of all the

1: Clothing is one of the primary need of mankind. Everyone in the world
always needs something to put on. The textile industry is the means
responding to this constant need of mankind. There is a constant need to
renew our underwear, shirts, pants, skirt, blouse, robe, towels,
handkerchief, scarf, socks, sheets, pillow case I can go on and on to
never finish. That's a very and forever expandable industry. Why do you
think all the rich countries make sure that their textile industry is
well in good shape? 

Most have an account with the development of the textile industry as a
springboard for their economic development. They are the one producing
clothing for the world today. The beauty of it is they make sure that
everyone can afford buying textile product. The more the masses are
engaged in consuming a necessity product without hurting themselves the
more hope there is for economic success.  If we plan to make a product
that is used on a daily basis by all, it better be affordable to make
business booming. That would be gain on volume rather than value. 

2: As I said in previous posts, dedicate the textile industry to the
local market first is the lever needed to boost the economy. It does not
matter how poor an Ayitian is, s/he feels it necessary to walk clean.
They know when they are dirty and know they must change. The lack of
clothing may prevent them from constantly being neat, but one good thing
about a poor Ayitian s/he hates to be dirty. This is why the "Pèpè"
phenomenon is uncontrollable. 

The country does not produce clothes, the people are poor, can't afford
buying imported clothes, they delve into "Pèpè". Brand name, nice and
well done, good quality for as cheap as $1, who can beat that? Again,
this is to show that textile products a daily need that must be
satisfied. That's what would make the development of the textile
industry a success.

As far as rice is concerned, Ayiti stops producing it and prefer import
hence we can't talk of its failure here. 

The secrets of economic development:

1: a dynamic local market. Focus must be on the local market. Production
is for and by the locals.

2: the base sector must have the capacity to spur derivative industries
and make them expandable.

3: make the agricultural sector the base for economic development.
Whatever, products considered must be one that is needed on a daily
basis and the lack of its consumption can reduce the welfare of the

4: affordability of the product must revolve around the local currency
5: do it small and not big. "small is beautiful"

Ayiti has lived, lives and will live