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Haiti - Agriculture : The expectations of the coffee industry
21/12/2010 09:45:31

Haiti - Agriculture : The expectations of the coffee industry
Frito Cherry and David Nicolas, representatives of the National Platform of Coffee Growers of Haiti (PNPCH) in a telephone interview provided an update on the situation of the coffee sector, its future and its expectations.

"It took 20 years of hard work to Haitian peasants to regain control of the coffee: this allows them now to establish with international clients (eg cooperative nOula) direct relationships, on equal terms. They are determined to increase this type of partnership, and to continue this work while building on these foundations. And then, abruptly, 3 new plagues fell down successively on Haiti during the last two months: First cholera, then Hurricane Tomas and to top it off, the post-election chaos... This succession of crises came emphasize the destabilizing impact that had occurred since the beginning of January 2010 earthquake on the economy and rural life. We overcame this cocktail of disasters, natural and artificial. And in 2011 we will continue to fight for the same cause. More than ever, to meet the huge challenges we face, we need international solidarity. But no matter how, what we want is:"

  • less charity but more sustainable development
  • less "sweat shops" in the industrial parks of Port-au-Prince, but more adequate investment in eco-agriculture to national self-sufficiency
  • less support but more trade
  • fewer promises of billions, but more buyers for our coffee and our other products of quality"

Today, the picture of the situation as drawn up by partners and friends of PNPCH is still that of a state of crisis, despite the clear progress of the international solidarity trade and the achievements of the coffee industry. It is indeed now the rural areas that are most vulnerable and most affected by the cholera epidemic that spread it to the favor of isolation, lack of information and lack of qualified workers for successfully stop this new evil.

From February 2011, PNPCH will launch a campaign to promote coffee in Haiti. Coffee producers are counting on nOula (1) and their Canadian partners to spread this message to Canada, to rapidly increase the demand and sales of Haitian coffee in Canada.

In doing so, the pressure will be applied in several areas on the new government. There will be encouraged to exercise leadership in this process following the recommendations of the PNPCH: investing in infrastructure, providing agricultural credit and apply the law so that the Haitian coffee does not leave the country at cheap prices through smuggling.

This last point alone, consisting simply to apply customs regulations will overnight increase up to 30% the capacity to export of Haiti on the international solidarity market. Because, this premium coffee is already produced the equivalent of 500 containers of coffee (120,000 bags of 60kg) passes the border illegally each year such is the scale of the smuggling of coffee to the Dominican Republic that has been raging for some fifteen years. Stop the bleeding is a realistic possibility of substantial increase in state income for farmers and producers. Redirect the cafe on the path of the international solidarity market will bring to farmers and the country two to three times more revenue for the same work.

Haiti's peasants rely on nOula and other Canadian partners as well as international clients to participate in this effort by creating a market and higher demand in Montreal, Quebec and Canada for the Haitian equitable coffee. They rely on the Haitian diaspora around the world to participate in this collective effort to boost the national economy. A simple and tiny personal decision consistently applied and multiplied 4 million times (total of transnational Haitians living abroad) can reverse the tide.

Learn more about nOula :
https://www.haitilibre.com/article-542-haiti-quebec-noula-une-cooperative-de-solidarite-remarquable.html (in french)
https://www.haitilibre.com/article-1381-haiti-quebec-le-ceci-et-noula-au-forum-d-affaires-quebec-haiti.html (in french)

S/ HaitiLibre / nOula

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