Louis Dejoie: Agricultural Entrepreneur Pioneer

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Louis Dejoie, a political leader in Haiti with Daniel Fignole

Like the Americans idolize Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg, the Haitian agricultural community idolized equally Louis Dejoie, an exemplary genius agricultural minded entrepreneur.

Growing up, Dejoie's name was a house on his own. Everyone knew, heard or had an idea of who he was. To put it bluntly, he was a genuine agricultural entrepreneur godfather. Nowadays, seemingly youngsters in Haiti barely have a genius role model to look up to or to inspire by. As they progress in life, they become severely damaged by the Raboday "Syndrome" and they start searching for Setters for aspirations and role models.

Born in Port-au-Prince from the aristocratic/elite class, Dejoie was an agricultural pioneer in his own right. His obsessed fascination for agriculture had led him to travel great distances across the Atlantic to master so many agricultural subjects and techniques, from agricultural chemistry to agricultural entrepreneuria. He alone installed and created more than a dozen agricultural businesses throughout the country from Ile-a-Vache, Port-Salut, Cayes, and Miragoane to St Michel de l'Attalaye with more than 50,000 direct employments in the agricultural sector only. His agricultural prowess was unmatched. He was so convinced that Haiti, as a primary agricultural country, has the potential of becoming an agricultural force as it had been during the colonial times. His high IQ and his passion made him a true agricultural genius amongst his fierce competitors. Even though he was a senator, his political ambition was even larger than life. He was so driven that he was willing to take matters on his own by running for presidency until he was defeated in the presidential campaign in the late 1950's.

Up to this day and age, Haiti hasn't produced a Prototype like him. The only prototypes that were created over this just past half century are the "Resellers" of the republic of Port-au-Prince. It's fascinating to see how one person can shape the agricultural business development landscape of a country in so little time. Sometimes, we question amply the role of our elites. Why are they so static in the archaic form of non productive wealth?

In a country like Haiti, which relies overwhelmingly on imports, it becomes increasingly difficult sometimes even disregarded to be mentioned as an agricultural entrepreneur, because for so long our oligarchy has indoctrinated the mass and the local farmers into rejecting the agricultural farming business, so that they can order anything and everything overseas to make big profits. It gets so real to a point, even our own agronomists are questioning the soil qualities, not based on soil testing results but rather on Visual impacts/effects and "they say". I am deeply concerned by this Human Organic Deficit "Syndrome" (HODS) that would make them probably believe in the creation of a "New Soil" to farm.

Thanks to Dejoie's pioneer ideas and his tireless devotion, the organic natural based products such as lemon, oranges, and especially vetiver oils industries have greatly emerged. The vetiver oil industry by itself has placed Haiti on the global map as the number one Vetiver producer in the world. This famous plant crop, native to Haiti, is a MUST ingredient in every Great perfume production. It serves as a fixative due to its great chemical properties...

The vetiver-based perfumes are amongst the world best and highly priced. They can be found at luxurious perfumes' houses such as Dior, Cartier, Creed, Tom Ford, and Valentino to name a few. Thanks also to Pierre Leger, an Agronomist and an agricultural entrepreneur who never ceased transforming the vetiver crop into a hot oil commodity in his well known transformation of manufacturing plant in Les Cayes.

The Grand Sud has been home to so many agricultural entrepreneurs that fight vehemently years after years to face all sorts of obstacles such as lack of electricity, modern equipments, insecurity, and lastly government support that could endanger this noble business. I hope this tradition still continues to better equip and feed the country with its own organic agricultural farming business.

Dejoie was the Man between the boys, full of interesting ideas. He was involved in countless aspects in the country's business life. He was a force to reckon with and an authority figure to deal with. Dejoie was destined to succeed and dared riskily to make it happen no matter of what. When facing adversity, he never folded and backed down. He welcomed challenges and he used them as a trampoline to jump to success. His vision, his immense hard work, and his determination made him one of a Special kind. Like so many other progressive patriots that fled the country during the Papa Doc regime who would never come back to their beloved Haiti, Dejoie died in exile in New York (July1969).

Dejoie had a host of titles and responsibilities that made him a well respectful citizen in spite of his supreme duties. Even though he worked relentlessly for his fortune and his community, his ultimate dream, which was "the Policy of the Earth"-heavily agricultural country for the peoples' benefit, would never see the light, even half of century after his death.

All his hard work and his transformation of manufacturing plants vanished under the Papa Doc Regime, in order to erase his legacy from peoples' minds, but his national progressive vision of the country's future would never fade away for generations to come. He will be eternally remained in the Haitian entrepreneurial history as one of the founding fathers.

Where would we be as a nation if all his agricultural transformation of manufacturing plants and his Agribusiness explorations were protected and served effectively?

Reference: Livre "Louis Dejoie- Profil d'un entrepreneur" by Georges Conde.

Love Bertrand! The Grand Sud Project, Researcher

Bertrand_love@yahoo.com

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Read more: Agriculture and Food, Agriculture, Louis Dejoie, Newsletter Articles, Agriculture and Food

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Reader Comments 1

Richard Dejoie says...

That is my great uncle my grandmother m father talk about him so much but I sent think that he was idolized like that I'm so proud of my Family n my heritage foundation is Haitian s are proud people and we have a right to be I xamt wait to go to Haiti one day so I can see where my Family is from n my culture

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