The food riots taking place around the world bring up some important points that few are looking at. Putting the blame on higher fuel prices, drought, and low food production, few news sources are looking at the impact of global trade and the bullies of global trade. Both of these articles take a closer look at the history behind the food riots in Haiti. Important things to know before we flip the TV channel...
From the BBC...
This valley used to produce nearly enough rice to feed the entire country, but back in the 1980s the International Monetary Fund and World Bank demanded that Haiti drop import tariffs in return for loans.
Haiti was soon flooded with cheap and heavily subsidised US food.
"We can't compete with imported rice," Maye says.
It is estimated that the US rice crop costs $1.8bn (£900m) to grow, but its farmers get subsidies of $1.3bn (£650m), and there was no way that Haiti could cope with competition like that. entire article
This is from a Human Rights Lawyer at Loyola University:
The New York Times lectured Haiti on April 18 that “Haiti, its agriculture industry in shambles, needs to better feed itself.” Unfortunately, the article did not talk at all about one of the main causes of the shortages -- the fact that the U.S. and other international financial bodies destroyed Haitian rice farmers to create a major market for the heavily subsidized rice from U.S. farmers. This is not the only cause of hunger in Haiti and other poor countries, but it is a major force. Whole article
This is also a shout out to my friend Kate who is spending her last days in Haiti, thanks for keeping us posted - besos!