A report from a group of Eastern Michigan University students in regards to Haiti and the planned peanut dump from The United States Department of Agriculture:
Haiti Doesn’t Need Our Handouts
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) plans to dump 500 metric tons (over 1 million pounds) of American peanuts into the country of Haiti. These peanuts have been dry roasted and packaged with the intent of feeding 140,000 malnourished. Haitian school children.
We, a group of six students from Eastern Michigan University, traveled around the country of Haiti interviewing various groups and individuals who could potentially be impacted by the peanut dump. Among those interviewed were peasant farmers, peanut producers, manufacturers, and workers. Some interviews were also done with those not directly involved in the peanut industry. These other interviews were with representatives of organizations that deal with health, poverty, food security, and food sovereignty. They discussed the consequences of the peanut dump as well. These interviews revealed that the peanut dump will do greater harm than good for Haiti.
At first glance, Haiti may appear to be a country in need of US interventions, such as the dumping of peanuts. Upon further investigation one will find that this peanut dumping represents yet another intervention in a long line of interventions that have adverse long-term consequences for Haiti. Over the past 100 years, Haiti has been impacted by numerous American interventions, which have prohibited the country’s economic growth and freedom. Among these impositions
Just as the Haitian Creole pigs were adapted specifically to their environment in Haiti, Haitian peanuts are perfect for the country’s climate. There are many varieties of peanuts adaptable to different climates, they are drought resistant, resistant to climate change, and have short growing seasons, meaning they can be harvested multiple times during the year.
A big thanks to the students who compiled this report and shared with HAWG!