"Help Us Produce; Don't Give Us Food": Food Sovereignty in Haiti

Jonas Deronzil @ Truthout - I've been farming for 36 years. My parents were planters too, my whole family going all the way back.

Before the 1980s, farmers could work on the strength of their courage. But since 1986 especially, when Jean-Claude [Duvalier] fled, through the government of [Gen. Henri] Namphy in 1988, rice has fallen flat in the country. The cost of everything is rising. The cost of manual labor is rising. They've had to leave a lot of their land fallow. What you harvest, you can't sell for enough money to cover your costs. Peasants have had go to Port-au-Prince. That's one of the causes for the expansion of slums throughout Port-au-Prince. Peasants are discouraged, the government doesn't do anything to encourage their production.

Since foreign rice has invaded Haiti, we plant our rice but we can't sell it. The foreigners have all the possibilities: they have water, they have machinery, they have easy access to fertilizer and other inputs. They can grow their rice in quantity. Read more.


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