US urged to stop Haiti rice subsidies

– How long it can take for the other shoe to drop….

– Some years ago, I saw the movie, Life and Debt about the effects on Jamaica of Globalization.

– Now, after all this time, people like Carter are beginning to see the destruction they’ve wrought in the name of ‘Globalization‘.

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A leading aid agency has called on the United States to stop subsidising American rice exports to Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere, because it says the policy undermines local production of food.

Former US President Bill Clinton, one of the architects of the subsidies to US farmers – and who is now, paradoxically, the co-chair of Haiti’s earthquake recovery Commission – is quoted by Oxfam as saying that the policy was “a mistake”.

“It may have been good for some of my farmers in Arkansas, but it has not worked,” said Mr Clinton, a frequent visitor to Haiti.

“I have to live every day with the consequences of the lost capacity to produce a rice crop in Haiti to feed those people, because of what I did.”

The aid agency says the $434m (£274m) paid annually in domestic US rice subsidies is more than the total US aid to Haiti of $353m.

The Oxfam report said subsidies paid to American farmers meant the rice they export to Haiti – known locally as Riz Miami or “Miami Rice” – is cheaper than locally produced rice.

The foreign rice that is “dumped” in Haiti therefore exacerbates the rural-urban drift that has seen the population of the capital Port-au-Prince balloon out of control as farmers who cannot feed themselves move to the city in search of employment.

The city was built in colonial times to house a few hundred thousand people.

– More…

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