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Food insecurity is frequently rooted in poverty, decreasing the capability of countries to develop their agricultural markets and economies. Reducing poverty is a critical element of food security, poor people spend a large share of their incomes on farming, leaving them vulnerable to declines in agricultural production.
Haiti has the highest level of food hunger in the Western Hemisphere. Twenty-five percent of Haitian people live in extreme poverty. Less than fifty percent of households in Haiti have access to clean water. Only twenty-five percent of households in Haiti have access to adequate sanitation. Haiti has suffered from a destructive combination of political instability and natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, and hurricanes. More than half of Haiti population survives on less than $2 a day and has insufficient food production.
Haiti’s farmers require investment in seed banks and water management to help them sell their produce. Transporting cash crops such as potatoes, mangos, coffee, and breadfruit Haitians rely on forty percent of the food provided in the country for local consumption. Instead of importing all kind of goods, it would be better to invest in Haiti itself, at the grassroots level. These investors could advertise local food and sell it at a reasonable price. Also, the Haitian government desperately needs to need to know how to manage drinking water and agriculture resource properly.
Food security exists when everyone all has physical, social, and economic access to nutritious meals that meet dietary needs and food choices for a productive and healthy life. One percent of the wealthiest Haitians own the same wealth as 45 percent of the most impoverished population. The leading cause of food insecurity is household poverty. The expansion of Haiti’s agriculture sector faces many difficulties, including a lack of access to financing, technologies, guidance, and training. Investments in farms remain limited, and the infrastructure deterioration of flooding systems and storage supplies limits productivity. Haitian agriculture is consequently not competitive with imports, therefore highly vulnerable to climate hazards.
In Haiti, more than half of the population lives in urban centers; rural communities are the most exposed to food insecurity. Most of the Haitian population has been facing chronic food shortages and increasing nutritional problems. Half of the population does not have access to the minimum daily ration. Therefore, there is a concern that food insecurity may increasingly become an urban issue. Reflecting on population growth and rising food insecurity, water supply, and croplands are under strain. High pregnancy and declining mortality have given Haiti a fast-growing population. Population pressures on the property have created severe soil erosion that is continuously reducing the amount of arable land available for cultivation. Agricultural production is slow resulting in trade deficits as food imports increase and exports are reduced. The expanding population is hindering implementation of the government’s development goal.
- What factors specifically interrupt the flow of food from the source to the people in the developing country you selected?
Significant problems in Haiti include food insecurity, severe deforestation problem, natural disasters, overpopulation, and a lack of sanitation. A significant reason for these environmental matters is that there is not enough protection or management of the country’s natural resources. Agriculture is the largest area of the Haitian economy, but Haiti’s soils and fishing zones are scared. Deforestation in Haiti is having a high need for fuel for processing sugarcane. Political instability and inadequate funding have been severe obstacles to efforts to reduce dependency on forests for fuel. Large-Scale reforestation projects are proposed, but they have been placed on hold because of social and political unrest and the urgent need to fund other infrastructure projects. Today only a small fraction of Haiti’s land is forested.
Despite the tremendous amount of aid money promised in the aftermath of the natural disasters, Haiti is dangerously exposed to environmental threats such as floods and mudslides. Haiti natural disasters have faced significant financial losses. Eight years ago, during the hurricane season, Haiti was hit by four storms; Fay, Gustav, Hannah, and Ike which killed more than 800 people and devastated nearly three-quarters of its agricultural land. Water safety and sanitation systems in Haiti were made vulnerable by earthquakes, so conditions are available for the further spread of cholera. Symptoms of cholera, caused by drinking tainted water can cause profuse watery diarrhea, and vomiting, leading to death by rapid dehydration.
- What forms of technology can be used to reduce hunger and improve food security? Explain how these technical solutions can do that.
There are several ways to improve food security in Haiti, using more fertilizer efficiently, raise low water productivity and target food for direct consumption. One form of technology was cellphones. About eighty-five percent of Haitian households have cell phones, according to the Red Cross. Phones enable cashless financial transactions and emergency messaging courtesy of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
United States telecom companies such as AT&T and Verizon made contributions for relief efforts, free calls to Haiti and assistance in helping rebuild its shattered communications infrastructure. Yele, a charity set up by Haitian-born hip-hop singer Wyclef Jean, raised millions of dollars after U.S. mobile phone companies made it easy to contribute money by text messages.
Surtab is a tablet PC company based in the capital of Port-au-Prince of Haiti. Surtab essentially produces the Surtab 7 tablet, a powerful technological tool that is being used to bridge the gap between the money and rural areas. Surtab is also bringing quality employment to the Haitian economy given adequate training for the job, paid triple the minimum wage and presented substantial health benefits. This quality of employment is unique to the Haitian community and represents a significant step towards rebuilding its fragile economy and fighting back against poverty in Haiti. These tablets compete with Apple and Samsung products in quality and functionality, and they make several versions, with the cheapest designed to be affordable to a broad array of Haitians.
Haiti’s ability to feed its people has been ruined by decades of poor natural resource management underinvestment in agricultural development, poor infrastructure, political instability, and acute deforestation. Meanwhile, less than four percent of the Haitian budget is dedicated to agricultural development. Government failure to increase access and availability of food, as well as neglect by urban-based legislators of the extreme vulnerability of rural communities, has weakened public trust in government institutions and increased social conflict.
The current prevailing political instability and a prolonged electoral process do not exonerate the Government of its responsibility to ensure that its population is food secure. The Government of Haiti should also take immediate steps to restore public confidence that it can address the food crisis, five the underlying environmental degradation and prepare for the future implications of a changing climate. Access to quality, nutritious food is fundamental to human existence. Securing access to food can produce wide-ranging positive impacts, including economic growth and job creation.
- 8. www.afd.fr/en/improving-food-security-haiti
- 9. https://borgenproject.org/transforming-poverty-in-haiti
- 10. https://www.popline.org/node/497113
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