Jacky LUMARQUE has been the President of Université Quisqueya, the leading private university in Haiti,…
Haiti: OPODNE leaders launch listening campaign to address plight of farmers
As communities continue to recover from flooding (thank you for your generous financial support making this possible) that wiped out crops and livestock, one hundred ten OPODNE leaders have launched a department-wide listening campaign to understand the plight of farmers and what they can do to make farming profitable again. Leaders plan to reach engage 4000 farmers over the next two months, analyze their findings, develop a set of policy changes, and present them at a department wide assembly to investors and government officials.
Because of climate change, floods and droughts, and government policies that have undercut local markets many farmers have given up. Some are holding on to subsistence farming to feed their families. It has not always been that way. In 1980, Haiti was virtually self-sufficient in rice.Today it imports 80% of its rice and 60% of its overall food supply. “Trade liberalisation has exposed Haitian farmers to competition from subsidised US rice and made consumers vulnerable to volatile global food prices,” said Oxfam. Haiti has one of the highest levels of food insecurity, with nearly half the population in need of immediate food assistance. OPODNE aims to change this story.
The road to recovery will be long and challenging, but these first steps can be the road to recovery. Because of the overwhelming influence of US policies that brought Haiti to this politically and economically precarious position, our Way Forward in Haiti initiative is more crucial than ever. You can view our latest conversation with Congressman Andy Levin and Madame Monique Clesca from the Montana Group about how we are working to change US policy to support Haitian led political and economic solutions.