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#1880: Re: #1878: Haiti's mango industry on the rebound : a word of caution : Poincy comments

From: Jean Poincy <caineve@idt.net>

What may sound good economic news can be an impediment to economic
development in Ayiti. No one can argue against the fact that seasonal
employment will be on the rise due to a more productive cash crop
industry (mango industry in this case). Such a period brings also
opportunities to put bread on the table of some families. That's quite a
relief without a doubt, and a very short one to bring more sorrows
later.  Then how good and economically sustainable is it? That's what
worries me.

	When looking at the economic figures regarding the national revenue,
one would be quick to give two thumbs up to such a result. However, a
closer look at the national distribution of economic activities among
various industries will reveal a very gleam outlook. There is not much
to fall back on in the event that the international market for
commodities crashes. What will be worth all the investments in the mango
industry then? What I am sure of is that the nation won't be able to eat
only mangoes.

	This is to say the emphasis on cash crop production is the deadly road
to take if Ayiti is thinking seriously about economic recovery. With
such a mode of production there are no linkages created among different
industries, which would produce the domino effect. Any promotion of the
industry will lead most farmers to concentrate their resources there and
be subjected to the marginal effect of production when taking production
as a whole. Each additional entrepreneur would make the return less
profitable for all. Hence, a decrease in national revenue.

	Now, assume that is not the case and those who invest are really
reaping the benefits of such a rebound; the proceeds will be used to
import consumption goods. The reason would be the authorities' failure
to promote the production of such goods to boost the other industries.
They were too busy reviving the mango industry. Understanding the
rebound of the mango industry this way clearly shows the importance of
seeking for other venues. Rather than seeing the growth of the mango
industry as a light of hope, it should be viewed as a warning of
disastrous impacts on the whole economy laying ahead. 

	While others feel strongly against the embargo on the export industry,
I viewed it as a blessing for the country. That was the opportunity the
people had to really get local industries going; that was their chance
to show their creative capabilities to survive if left alone. However,
they missed the boat once more. I am sure there will be plenty of
opportunities like that in the future; how will they go about it is what
worries me. As a matter of fact, the way Ayitians go about things to
survive is the seed of my worries. Again this is their self-destructive
mentality at work.

Ayiti has lived, lives and will live