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9450: 9445: RE: 9422: Open Discussion:Food production (fwd)




From: JHUDICOURTB@aol.com
To: corbetre@webster.edu
Subject: 9445: RE: 9422:  Open Discussion:Food production

Who can invest in agriculture?
Some people do, but mostly the poor.  
Someone has invested in Mangoes.  We get the Mango Fransik in most Carribbean 
convenient stores in the Northeast when they are in season. 
 I heard of businessman who invested in improving Tangerines and became 
terrified for a while to go harvest because of threats to his empoyees.  
Someone has invested in hydroponic tomatoes and sells them directly to 
hotels, restaurants, and supermarkets.
Jean Desquiron and his family built the first modern chicken farm in Haiti 
from the 50's to the 70's.  In the 80's the business died because of unfair 
competitive practices from the Brandt family.  The Brandts built a huge 
chicken farm that can be seen from Mn Kabrit and produced the Poulet Cocote 
for several years.  They have closed, saying the cost of production in Haiti 
is higher than the cost of imports from the DR and Brazil.
Fresh poultry in Haiti is very expensive and rare.
Haiti used to export sugar.  Now most of the sugar is imported.
The coffee export association has announced that if production wasn't 
increased, Haiti would start importing coffee in the next 20 years.
A lot of the problems with Agriculture are related to security and policy.  
American food is cheap because the government subsidizes its production.  
There are no such policies in Haiti.  Agriculture is a risky business not 
only because it depends on weather but because there is no effective 
government.  Land ownership is often in dispute and there is little 
protection for either sides of the dispute.  The formerly large land-owning 
families who could have been involved in agriculture prefer to do 
import/export because it is less of a hassle.  Any large business is subject 
to dechoukaj and it is much harder to protect it if it is away from the 
city....
The sad part of all of this is that our country is a country where potiential 
is constantly wasted, human potential and natural ressources.  When it is the 
rainy season in Haiti corn grows everywhere.  Pwa congo  (pigeon peas) are al
so everywhere.  There is also so much water falling on that land that we 
should never have the water problems that we confront .   It is sad but the 
politicians are still talking, talking about nothing constructive.  The 
concepts of work and production are simply beyond their intelligence. As long 
as their wife makes sure they have their trays of coffee in the morning and 
their covered platters of viann, bannann, diri ak pwa, sos, in the afternoon, 
then they can keep talking. It often said that Haitian man, especially the 
most schooled of them, care mostly about 2 things:  "le ventre et le 
bas-ventre" (the stomach and the lower stomach).  If those 2 are statisfied 
then everything else is fluff.  I doubt that they care about where the stuff 
comes from.