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2129: Re: Where are the numbers? Antoine responds to Poincy (fwd)

From: Guy Antoine <GuyAntoine@windowsonhaiti.com>

"This is to say that how many hectares of arable land that Ayiti has
at its disposal is insignificant. Whatever that Ayiti has is a given,
one can't add on it nor can't subtract from it."

Poincy, I just want to question you on this specific point, while I will
respond (perhaps!) to your breathtaking vison of an oligarchy and
"double coups d'état" at another time (God, you knocked the wind
out of me!)

But indeed on this technical point, regardless of efficiency techniques,
surely the number of arable hectares will matter at some point, miracles
of technology notwithstanding.  Furthermore, I don't think that this number
is a constant.  Natural erosion, deforestation and reforestation, can
certainly influence it, and I believe that Haiti is a prime example of that.

The question I have is whether technology or reforestation can make
up for the loss of a) our fertile soil; b) our animal (mostly bird) species;
c) our coastline fish and crustecean species, or are we indeed talking
of an irretrievable loss?

On the question of whether Haiti can feed itself or not, I do think that
Haiti can go a long way towards doing so, but all we have to do is
maximize our internal agricultural capacities, and the rest we will
import.  What other countries in the world do not import food?  The
question is whether we should allow our trade policies to harm our
long-term economic interests?  I think that there is much danger in
"free trade", though our internal system of food production and
distribution are much higher priorities at this point.  It is rarely
acknowledged that in certain parts of the country (mostly Southern),
food is sometimes left to rot, while there is no efficient way to bring
it to often starving local populations of the Northwest.

This picture is compounded with the reality of overabundant corruption
which makes it unlikely that any benefit realized from macro-economic
policies would actually trickle down to the masses of Haitians.

Can Haiti feed itself or not?  Simplistically, I would respond: Why not?
Let's at least give it a fair try.

Guy S. Antoine
Look thru & Imagine!