USAID lança Agricultura Tech-Centro Entre Preocupações de cidadãos haitianos
- Tuesday, May 03, 2011 8:36 AM
BAS Boen - O Governo dos EUA inaugurou oito Centros de Desenvolvimento Rural Sustentável (SRDC) no Haiti em 01 de maio, Nacional da Agricultura e do Dia do Trabalho para oferecer capacitação técnica aos agricultores haitianos. Mas os moradores ver os centros, o oposto do que afirmam seus nomes e dizem que ameaçam a soberania alimentar pouco que o Haiti tem.
With funding from the U.S. government, as part of U.S. President Barack Obama's global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future, , plans have been set in place with the stated mission of "working to reduce global hunger and poverty by supporting country-led plans for agricultural development."
Through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID ), Haiti kicked-off its National Agriculture and Labor Day on May 1 by inaugurating 8 agricultural training centers across the country.
A USAID Comunicado de Imprensa said the centers will help modernize Haiti's agricultural sector by training farmers to use innovative agriculture techniques that will increase crop yields and boost incomes. The training centers include a warehouse, dormitories, laboratories and distance-learning facilities.
On the other hand, grassroots organizations, journalists and citizens are calling the U.S. initiatives a threat to food sovereignty arguing that the products, mainly hybrid seeds, will make the nation food dependent on the U.S. with plants that severely effect soil pH levels, making the earth dependent on one type of seed and the plants do not produce seeds of their own.
Seeding Reconstruction or Destruction?
Ayiti Je Kale (Haiti Open Your Eyes), a partnership between Base Haiti Assista , AlterPresse and the Society for the Animation of Social Communication (SAKS) produced an extended report on the potential effects of these operations.
The criticisms of the grassroots groups begin with the premise that Haiti never had a seed problem to begin with. The issue, if any, that the group claims is quantity not quality. If U.S. wanted to assist Haitian farmers the $20 million[USD] spent to distribute the hybrid seeds could have been used to provide tools or better irrigation to improve agricultural systems that have been used in Haiti since the establishment of the former French colony.
Another argument is that the seeds grow plants that do not yield seeds and in some cases, don't even yeild food.
Food Dependency from the Root?
Director of the National Seed Service of Haiti, Emmanuel Prophete, lauded the approach of organizations such as the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO ) and non-governmental organizations such as World Vision , Catholic Relief Services (CRS) e Oxfam for funding the purchase and distribution of the seeds to farmers for little or no cost, but says the model is unsustainable.
Director Prophete inquired that if the seeds do not yield plants that produce seeds themselves, furthermore, the coating on these seeds make the soil dependent on that particular chemical combination, and even further, if the organizations - which arrived after the earthquake in Port-au-Prince on January 12 2010 - cease to fund the purchase and distribution of the hybrids, what is the Haitian to do?
Most would agree that under this scenario Haitians will be forced to purchase its seeds from the U.S., namely the controversial Monsanto biotechnology corporation.
An Unfavorable Track Record
The entities involved in these agricultural initiatives have proven themselves to have a track record not favorable to the Haitian people, in fact, detrimental.
In 1980, USAID under U.S. President Jimmy Carter of the Democratic Party, put then President Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier under duress forcing the slaughter of an entire species of Creole Black Pigs in the country. It was a move that most Haitians point to as the beginning of the nation's agricultural demise.
On April 1 2010, Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, also of the Democratic Party, now head of the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission, made a public apology for his 1993 initiative that dropped the tariffs on imported rice, eventually making Haitian rice producers and the overall agriculture and economy decline.
The USAID, now under the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama, also of the Democratic Party, is the topic of recent criticism today, as it has been proven that the organization does not fund Haitian businesses or the interests of the Haitian people, although through press releases and mission statements it seems to take on this guise.
For the part of Haitian officials, the Ministry of Agriculture, also backing these current initiatives also approved the importation of mosquito-fish into Haiti's fresh water systems. A developing threat, reported by the United States Geological Survey to destroy fish populations, contaminate water and disrupt entire ecosystems.
Today, USAID Director in Haiti, Carleene Dei hopes to put these controversial happenings in the hands of the Haitian people to, as some critics would argue, continue their own destruction.
Dei said "our support will help train thousands of farmers over the next few years. Once the center is running smoothly, Haitian institutions will possess the knowledge and experience to manage the center without our assistance."
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Fonte: Medical News Today , Huffington Post , Ayiti Je Kale , Democracy Now! , San Francisco Bay View