Free peanuts from U.S. to send Haiti further into dependency

The American government has decided to ship 500 metric tons of surplus of American peanuts to Haiti to help feed 140,000 malnourished schoolchildren in Haiti. This is a form of humanitarian aid program where packaged, dry-roasted peanuts from a vast U.S. stockpile will go to Haiti and distributed free of charge to youngsters in rural schools.


Looking at this on the surface, this is a great program, helping poor, malnourished children get a free meal. The story is much more complicated than that. this kind of help that sounds great has long term consequences that will be devastating to a poor nation like Haiti. A flood of imported peanut will temporarily suppress hunger; however, in the long term, this will make Haiti depend more into imported peanuts.

What will likely happen. As these highly subsidized, free peanuts are entering the Haitian market, more people will choose to get the free peanut instead of buying them from the local growers. Over a period of time and as the local producers are unable to sell their peanuts, they will stop producing peanuts all together. And once there is no longer a local production of peanut and the humanitarian aid on peanuts ends, the highly subsidized peanut producers from the US will enter the Haitian market directly. Consequently, in addition to Haitian business people selling imported rices, beans and god knows what else, they will find it profitable to enter the peanut import business at the expense of the local producers who would no longer be able to compete.

I wonder why these people who are so concerned about us but are only willing to give us the final product. I feel that if they could bring these product, ready in a spoon and close to our mouth, they will do it as long as they are the ones doing the job for us and that we will continue to have the same needs. If helping was really the motif, wouldn't we be provided instead with the ability to grow our own peanuts, something that would likely solve many problems at the same time such as creating local jobs, helping us in becoming self-sufficient, less dependence on foreign help and above all help regain our dignity as productive individuals.

This program does nothing to boost local food production capacity in Haiti. After the slaughtering of our Creole pigs in the 1980s, the U.S. rice invasion of the Clinton government, the takeover of the second hand clothes, shoes, etc.. this new subsidized U.S. peanut is the latest assault which will gradually destroy what is left from our sovereignty and dignity as a nation.

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All Comments (2)

Nestor Mateo says...

Totally agreed.

What we need is to produce in the country as much as possible of our food needs.

The country would've been in better shap today, if the billions of dollars of financial help pledged for the reconstruction would have been invested in the socioeconomic development of

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Bwa Sanfey says...

This program makes me sick. The government should limit the quantity tons of peanut that we can accept..

Let them send the rest somewhere else, if they have too

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