A serious food crisis is brewing in Haiti - here's how to stop it | Prospery Raymond

From Global development | The Guardian Tue Feb 19 2013, 09:48:09

Haiti's farmers need investment in seed banks and water management to help them sell their produce

As well as exporting cash crops such as coffee, cocoa, mangos, breadfruit and potatoes, Haitians rely on 40% of the food produced in the country for local consumption. With this in mind, it's easy to see why last year's dramatic weather patterns and global economic meltdown produced aftershocks as significant and devastating as those of the 2010 earthquake.

In 2012, there were five events - separate, but intrinsically linked - that Haiti did not handle well, in my opinion. First, severe drought meant farmers failed to maintain a good harvest for the spring season from April to August, resulting in overall losses reaching staggering levels - 42-60% of Haiti's overall food production. Second, spiralling global food prices made it increasingly difficult for those still recovering from the myriad effects of the earthquake to buy basic foodstuffs.

Third, hurricane Isaac hit Haiti in August, swiftly followed by hurricane Sandy in October and extreme flooding in the north of the country in November. These natural disasters not only wiped out swaths of crops and many farms but generated a loss of more than $250m (£159m), excluding the huge damage inflicted on infrastructure and livestock.

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