The Perceptions of Haitian Farmers Towards International Food Aid: A Case Study

Haiti has been suffering a multitude of disasters within recent years. In response, multiple countries have decided to support Haiti through financial, medical, and nutritional services. This, coupled with Haiti’s history of environmental and political destabilization, has resulted in a dependency on non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) and foreign support. As a part of this aid, food has been provided as a means of emergency support. Throughout recent years, this food aid has continued even when the country was no longer in an emergency state. Since the 1980’s, exports have significantly dropped along with agricultural production, and imports increased. One of the main commodities that are imported into the country as a form of foreign assistance is rice.

The focus of this study is to understand the perceptions of international food aid on the part of Haitian rice farmers. In an effort to better understand the problems inflicted upon farmers by the culture of dependency on foreign aid, farmers were interviewed. The interview consisted of a specific set of questions designed to shed insight on opinions and beliefs of farmers that resided within the Artibonite Valley. Ten farmers were interviewed, and the answers were then transcribed to assess trends and similarities.

The Grounded Theory Approach was used to analyze the data. Results showed that there are three areas in which farmer’s state can improve production and facilitate change. These include better access to water, affordable fertilizer to aid in plant growth, and governmental support either with subsidies or microloans. More research is needed to accurately represent all rice farmers within Haiti.

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