L.A. Times on “Roots of Haiti’s Food Crisis”

May 13, 2008 at 3:10 pm Leave a comment

The Los Angeles Times today published a story on the “Roots of Haiti’s Food Crisis“, highlighting the roots of Haiti’s food insecurity. Over 30 years of heavily subsidized U.S. rice imports have created a fundamental dependence on rice and a now decades-old shift away from traditional food stocks. Today, with more than 70% of Haitians living on less than $2 a day, the recent price increases in rice imports have lead to food riots in the capital. David Coia of the USA Rice Federation reports that:

… last year [the Federation] sold $111.5 million worth here, making Haiti the fourth most important market for U.S. producers …

Rising import prices, combined with shrinking arable land, will continue to stimulate Haitian migration, a trend that’s part of worldwide growth in south-to-south migration. And according to farmers interviewed:

There’s no turning back the clock … in a countryside ravaged by floods, soil erosion, misguided trade policy and ongoing landownership disputes.

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