A few weeks ago, the US Department of Agriculture announced a new plan to send 500 metric tons of US peanuts to Haiti to help with Haiti’s hunger crisis. The problem with this plan is that Haitians already grow their own peanuts and have a large peanut industry. In the past, US products like rice have undercut the Haitian market and left Haitian farmers unable to sell their crops and feed their families. Partners in Health has joined calls for the USDA to drop this plan and find a better way to help Haiti.
Part of the post is below. Click HERE for the full text.
No to ‘Dumping’ Peanuts in Haiti
Partners in Health
April 29, 2016
A statement from Partners In Health:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced a deal to ship 500 metric tons of peanuts grown in the United States to school children in Haiti later this year. We believe this action is wrong. Shipping excess U.S. peanuts to Haiti—known as “crop dumping”—will be a disaster for Haitian peanut farmers, and ultimately won’t help the people USDA intends to serve.
Levels of food insecurity and hunger are extremely high in Haiti, and we have a responsibility to act. We agree that providing assistance to hungry people is critical, but it shouldn’t come in the form of food that is currently being produced by local farmers.
There is precedent that supports our concern. Flooding local markets with outside crops has a profoundly negative impact on the Haitian economy and the well-being of the Haitian poor. It undermines local food production and forces farmers whose livelihoods have failed into rapid and uncontrolled urbanization to city slums. Perhaps most importantly, crop dumping has not produced a positive outcome in the nutritional status of Haitians who are poor.
Click HERE for the full text.