A few weeks ago, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a plan to send 500 metric tons of U.S. peanuts to Haiti to "help with Haiti’s hunger crisis." The problem with this plan is that Haitians already grow their own peanuts and have a large peanut industry.
Click here to join us in asking the USDA and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to immediately cancel plans to ship U.S. peanuts to Haiti.
Instead, we need to prioritize a model of cooperation that respects the self-determination and economic independence of the Republic of Haiti.
Maryknoll Sisters in Haiti have seen the U.S. do this before – undercut the Haitian market and leave Haitian farmers unable to sell their crops and feed their families – most egregiously with rice, which was once a staple crop in Haiti. By 1990, there was so much U.S. rice coming into the country that many Haitian farmers stopped working the land. Today, little rice is grown in Haiti; instead, the nation is a market for the subsidized rice crop grown in the United States.
Now the U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to do it again – this time with peanuts. The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns has joined more than 60 organizations in sending a letter to the USDA and USAID calling for them to drop this plan and find a better way to help Haiti. We need you to send this message, too!
Take action now - tell the U.S. not to dump peanuts in Haiti.
Photo: Maryknoll Sister Theresa Kastner (center) works with women farmers in Haiti. Photo courtesy of the Maryknoll Sisters.