Pèpè Economy

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Pèpè Economy

Post by admin » Fri Jun 20, 2003 4:30 am

See http://www.beyondborders.net/Pepe_Economy.htm

Pèpè Economy
by David Diggs

There was a time when Haiti was the largest exporter of sugar in the world. Today Haiti imports all of its refined sugar. Haiti used to be a big producer of cotton, too, but the last Haitian cotton mill closed years ago. The list is long of goods Haiti used to produce for itself but must now import. This lost production means lost jobs, greater poverty, and increasing dependency on outside help. The decline in Haiti's productivity is a consequence of decisions made both within and outside Haiti.

Haiti used to export much of its sugar to the US, but then American sugar beet farmers successfully lobbied Congress to set strict import quotas that protected them from competition from sugar primarily from Caribbean countries like Haiti. The US government also began subsidizing American sugar producer
s in a variety of ways, which has led to over-production and sugar stockpiling. At the same time, the US has exerted tremendous pressure on Haiti to open its market to American sugar and other agricultural products that are subsidized by our government. This we've done in the name of free trade. But Haitian producers have no way to compete with cheaper subsidized American goods that flood into their country. The cheaper imported food is of temporary benefit to consumers. As jobs disappear and local production declines, fewer people have enough money to buy even the imported food.

This process has devastated the Haitian economy where 8 in 10 people now earn less than $1 a day and the Haitian population is ranked as the third hungriest in the world by the UN. Haiti used to be able to grow virtually all the rice and other grains it needed for domestic consumption. In the past two decades, though, both donated and subsidized US rice, corn, and wheat have inundated the Haitian market.

In the increa
singly globalized economy, it isn't just decisions made by government policy makers that affect the Haitian economy. For example, when we buy chicken at the grocery store and decide to pay a little more for the pre-cut white mean, our decision has an indirect impact on poor farmers in Haiti. How? Large chicken producers like Perdue and Tyson's end up with a glut of the dark meat that has less appeal to affluent American consumers. To protect their profits, these companies freeze the dark meat and sell it on the cheap to poor countries like Haiti. Small local producers in Haiti are being driven out of business, making the remaining local free range chicken just too pricey for most people in the cities, even though they greatly prefer it over the imported frozen chicken.

Haitian consumers in an increasingly globalized economy are also subjected to a barrage of sophisticated Western marketing for imported products. A beautiful locally-produced straw hat is great protection from the sun and only cost a t
enth of the price of the imported Chicago Bulls ball cap, but Haitians who are eager to not look poor are often willing to pay for foreign fashions and fads. Even in Haiti teenage boys want to be like Mike. This is good news for Nike, but bad news for the traditional Haitian hat maker and cobbler and the whole Haitian economy.

A number of Beyond Borders' associates in Haiti are part of an effort to counter this trend. For example, Chris Low is helping a group of women artisans on Lagonav island find markets for the beautiful hand-painted silk scarves they produce. Carla Bluntschli has been helping her Haitian co-workers at DOA/BN mount a campaign to break Haiti's growing enchantment with foreign products and promote greater self-reliance. Jeff and Beth Rogers have been promoting the local production and sale of pottery and jewelry. But in our global economy efforts like these among poor people in Haiti must be matched by efforts among the affluent in powerful countries like the US to get our governme
nts to look out more for the interests of the poor and the long-term interests of us all.


Post by Widy_ » Fri Jun 27, 2003 4:52 am


>Mwen byen konprann sa ou di la men an ke reponn an kreyòl piskè i pi easy pou mwen.

>Sa se vwe sa ou di si pwodiksyon an ayiti an tan lontan.

>Si mwen la se mwen di zòt kè se menm biten kote an nou tou.

Avan na-p fè sik kon sik ekri, men èvè zafè a yeropeyanizasion yo, e menm avan sa (epi sik betrav) fwanse favorize prodiksyon a peyizan yo e lò-w gade sik gwadloup pateka vann kon avan ankò.

Mon chè se kon sa yo fin chie èvè tout pwodiksyon lokal nou, piskè kounyela prèskè pa gen pwodiksyon sik gwadloup e nou blije enpòte sik dè lewòp.

Pou lagrikilti se menm biten, jòdijou, pwodui enpòte mwen chè ki pwodui lokal sa ki fè kè dife ka lime an ren a peyizan nou piskè yo pa konpetitif konpare a agikilti endistryalize ewòp yo.

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