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Thread: Update from Haiti

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainannie View Post
    greydred 40
    chip love
    But isn't the Haitian's mistrust and refusal to adopt "white mans ways " part of the problem.

  2. #42
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    Seed Bank

    is Chavannes project... to which I donate
    I worry that they buy their seeds in the US and not in the DR and would prefer that we could supply seeds that were more local, more indigenous... but I have not been able to help so I just send a check

    There are regular delegations going up from NYC if anyone wants to visit....

    When I was last in Haiti, I went to visit the Ministry of Agriculture with the head of the Border Development..... Right in front were about 500 small tractors which Venezuela had just given the government.. And which the government desperately needed then and needs now...

    Another project that I like is ORE development projects in Haiti. ORE's mission is to improve environmental, agricultural and economic conditions in rural Haiti with high revenue tree crops, improved seeds and marketing programs. which has also been around for a long time but is a very small operation and does not get much publicity or funding.....

    As to the "white man's ways" .... I have no idea what you mean by that... slavery? they got that one... Thirty years ago I dated a Haitian who had his doctorate in agronomy from Belgium and was building his own terraced orange grove. The oranages for Cointreau are still produced in Haiti.

    Haiti was probably food sufficient til the 70s maybe even the 80s when the rice collapsed .. then the pig went....(although the iowa pigs have gone kreyole and eat the garbage in port au prince) ... then came the coups and counter coups... and the international boycott by the OAS during the first Aristide exile... some Haitians credit Dominican egg producers with flooding the market during the boycott... that drove the last commercial egg producer in Haiti out of business. The current boycott on DR eggs is being sustained so that Haiti can begin to equip its small farmers with very very small egg projects.......

    Some of you speak as if Haiti is simply full of completely ignorant people with no contact with the outside world. I would suggest that you consider going to spend a week with Chavannes.......who himself regularly goes to NYC.

    The Haitian diaspora contributes more than the annual federal budget.

    In my five years of dealing with the Haitian diaspora on the list servs, I can assure you that they are far more educated and thoughtful than anything that this side of the island has yet to produce.. Diaz notwithstanding

    One of the interesting discussions we had was how.. before the bad times.. when there was still rice and pigs and eggs.. the women would cut the wood. And they would only cut the branches, not the tree.. And they wtould do it with proper ceremony.. proper gratitude to mother earth. But then the men started hunting charcoal .. as there was money in it and they take the entire tree.

    There are many in the diaspora who wish to exploit their family land in
    Haiti by extensive leasing for production for fuel. say... for jatropha.. now Chavannes is opposed to this.. and
    I have to respect his opinion although I have yet to visit his operation and see what ooking fuel he uses... but his point is that food sufficiency for the nation comes before export.

  3. #43
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    Talking about real sustainability with regard to food production I think history has been pretty clear that Haiti has failed consistenly with this starting with the dismantling of the plantation system and then Boyer's failed Rural Code.

    If you guys want to say that Haiti was self sufficient in terms of food production for a certain period I wouldn't be surprised if that was at times of mass emigration - which obviously reduces much of the stress on the land.

    In addition to that, just because they may have been self sufficient for a period of years it means little if it can't be maintained. The former USSR is a great example of destroying millions of acres of productive land by overfarming. We will start to see that in Brazil too as it becomes evident that the forests clear cutted for farming are virtually useless after a matter of years due to the poor soils.

  4. #44
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    Here's a timely piece that certainly calls into question the abject questioning of all "engineered" foods:

    Remarkable Creatures - Tracking the Ancestry of Corn Back 9,000 Years - NYTimes.com

    Maybe we could learn something from our ancestors.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chip View Post
    Here's a timely piece that certainly calls into question the abject questioning of all "engineered" foods:

    Remarkable Creatures - Tracking the Ancestry of Corn Back 9,000 Years - NYTimes.com

    Maybe we could learn something from our ancestors.
    9,000 years? Is Chip coming to The Brights' side?

    Welcome, amigo.

    Next stop: The Burgess Shale

  6. #46
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    Comparing selective breeding to GM foods is a ludicrous concept. Borlaugh essentially doubled world production potential of food simply by using selective breeding to create dwarf strains of wheat and improved varieties of corn and rice. That was 40 years ago. This is a far cry from injecting genes from unrelated plants, bacteria and even fly genes into potatoes, corn and soy. These are primarily used so that chemical inputs such as Roundup can used without limit or that the plants create their own supply of bT Toxin. The bT toxin will lose its effectiveness through this saturating the crops with it, making an organic pesticide which has been used sparingly and wisely for over 50 years useless in a few decades. Making plants produce their own bT toxin is a bad idea just as it is for people to take anti-biotics when they are not sick.

    Food safety is only a small part of the issue though it often gets the most press. We are undermining the genetic diversity of our land races to create crops which are much more susceptible to catastrophic crop failures when a pathogen succeeds in taking hold. They happen now with many crops with "decadent" genetic bases. Coffee, citrus, banana, barley and corn have all had major crop failures due to a finite genetic base just in the last 40 years. Think Irish Potato Famine as the poster child for the need for genetic diversity.

    I'm also simply not keen on three companies controling over 80% of the world seed supply for our most important crops. Once a cartel is created that controls an essential resource, bad things are bound to happen.

  7. #47
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    The way you guys paint it we've got a multinational company hell bent on forcing us to use 100% genetically engineered plant for our food supply with no concern for genetic diversity when actually that is not the case.

    ARS Contributes Seeds to Global Storage Vault in Norway / January 30, 2008 / News from the USDA Agricultural Research Service

    I suppose the appeal of large multinational companies and "big brother" taking over the world is just too compelling for some. Surprising enough these "champions" of the human race most often than not promote policies and politics that show their real lack of concern, ie love, of their fellow man. I'm not impressed.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chip View Post
    The way you guys paint it we've got a multinational company hell bent on forcing us to use 100% genetically engineered plant for our food supply with no concern for genetic diversity when actually that is not the case.
    Soy Info Online!

    This is no joke. These companies place profit above all other considerations and they don't care one bit about you, me or anyone or anything except their bottom line. Corporations are doing the same thing with water all over the 3rd World (coming soon to the 1st).

    Rebellion Against Water Monopoly

    The problem isn't "Big Brother". It's Big Business that needs closer inspection. Wasn't the recent financial crisis enough to teach you this? These guys operate in their own World with no application of ethical consideration. The way the game is played, that's the role of the government unfortunately the government is only equipped to figure out what went wrong after the fact thanks to almost a decade of deregulation and you can't say that nobody saw that one coming.

    The dangers of deregulation - The Boston Globe



    With all the independent studies and problems found with these genetically engineered "frankenfoods" Monsanto, et al are not only sticking to their guns, these arrogant bastards are spending hundreds of millions developing spin campaigns to counter the facts and mask their shortcomings and writing the expediture off their taxes.

    No, you're not impressed by the truth. You're impervious to it.

  9. #49
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    ARS is a US government agency and has nothing to do with Monsanto...

  10. #50
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    One thing Haiti could do is grow something like Tephrosia, which is a nitrogen fixing green manure which can be used as a natural source of rotenone. It is often intercropped with corn. Rotenone is an effective pest control and it breaks down in a few days. The dried leaves of the plant can be simply ground up and broadcast into gardens or they can be boiled to make a spray applicant.

    http://www.paceproject.net/UserFiles...%20vogelii.pdf

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