Haiti turns to its local crops

by Luigi Guarino on July 2, 2013

The Economist had an article on food security in Haiti in last week’s edition. It’s worth reading in full, but I’d like to highlight two points here. First, the official in charge of “arable policy” at the ministry of agriculture, one Marcel Augustin, is said to think that

…Haitians should be encouraged to change their eating habits and adopt the diets of their grandparents. Locally grown crops such as yam, manioc, sorghum, sweet potatoes and maize were the staples of previous generations, who had rice [only] as a Sunday treat. They grow easily in Haiti and provide a nutritious alternative to rice…1

Second, the article points out that USAID has changed its policy from simply handing out foodstuffs imported from the United States to distributing cash vouchers instead, which of course people can spend on locally produced food. Encouraging developments, the effects of which, on agrobiodiversity as well as food security, it will be interesting to follow.

Footnotes:
  1. And there are also local crops with commercial potential, as a piece Cedric Jeanneret linked to on Facebook pointed out. []

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