Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

USDA’s Plan to Ship Peanuts to Haiti Benefits U.S., Not Haiti

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced a plan to ship 500 metric tons of peanuts to Haiti to help with the current hunger crisis resulting from a drought in the country. The problem? Haitians already grow plenty of their own peanuts, which also are a drought-resistant plant. Many nonprofits and aid organizations, including IJDH, have stood up against this plan that would likely devastate Haiti’s economy. As one nonprofit leader says in this article: “When other crops fail, peanuts are what [Haitians are] literally relying on to survive.”

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

U.S. To Ship Peanuts To Feed Haitian Kids; Aid Groups Say ‘This Is Wrong’

Clare Leschin-Hoar, NPR

May 5, 2016

Sacks full of peanuts are displayed for sale at a market in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Aid groups say they are dismayed by a planned influx of American-grown peanuts from a U.S. agricultural surplus that they fear could undercut a vital cash crop in the impoverished Caribbean nation.

On paper, sending surplus U.S. peanuts to feed 140,000 malnourished Haitian schoolchildren for a full year sounds like a heroic plan. Instead, it’s united 60 aid groups that are urgently calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to halt a shipment containing 500 metric tons of peanuts, preventing the legumes from reaching Haiti.

The aid groups call it “crop dumping” and warn that it will deliver an economic blow to struggling Haitian peanut farmers. Critics say it’s poor aid policy that will have long-term negative impacts on Haitian communities.

“This is a country where peanut production is a huge source of livelihood for up to a half-million people, especially women, if you include the supply chains that process the peanuts,” says Claire Gilbert, spokesperson for Grassroots International, a Boston-based nonprofit that supports food sovereignty.


Click HERE for the full text.

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