By TRENTON DANIEL – Associated Press
In this April 21, 2011 photo, a man carries five sacks of rice at the La Saline Market in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Nature and the outside world have all taken their toll. Erosion, deforestation, flooding and tropical storms make farming difficult. American imports are stiff competition for farmers. Haiti imports nearly all of its food, including more than 80 percent of its rice, known here as “Miami Rice.” A whole chicken costs $8 in Haiti – double the price in Peru. Argentines earn much more than Haitians, but pay less for a kilogram of rice.
The rise of garment factories in the cities since the 1970s has denuded the countryside of working hands.
The winding down of quake aid is meant in part to encourage quake survivors to leave their camps and to stabilize market prices. Groups such as the WFP have launched cash-for-work programs, school meals to ensure attendance, and efforts to get aid workers to purchase goods locally.