Could you imagine living off of $2 dollars every day? With those 2 dollars you couldn’t afford the coffee you get every morning. Haiti is a very small and poor country with various issues.
An average family in Haiti consists of 4.5 members (3). The diet in Haiti consists of corn, cassava, millet, rice, and fruits (1). The standard eating procedure in Haitian culture is the guest eats first and if there is no guest present then everyone waits for the mother to start eating (4).
The average annual income is only $100; Haiti’s economy is heavily dependent on farming which is 60 percent of its labor force, not only this but only 30 percent of its land is suitable for cultivation (1). The main cash crops are coffee, sugar, sisan, and essential oils. Furthermore, the sugar production has fallen due to the local production and consumption of rum (1). The yearly health care expenditure in Haiti is $77 per capita wherase in the United States is $2765 (1). It’s GDP per capita is $1,800, which makes it the poorest country in the western hemisphere (1).
There are about 80 percent of all Haitians currently living in poverty (4). In Haiti most of the schools are private schools and a very limited amount of public schools,the average time of schooling is only 5 years, with all of this, the tuition can be a very big burden to many families (4). If they were to get past primary school and go on to higher education many usually attend universities in foreign countries and middle class attend universities in Haiti (4). When it comes to farming in the Haitian agriculture an average farm per family is sized at 2.5 acres only a few farms exceed 30 acres, these farms are used by the families mostly for food and partly for cash crops (5). Most of the crops that are grown are rice, maize, beans, coffee, sugar and much more (5). The Haiti employees use a unusual form of farming called arboriculture, most employed people in Haiti are in some sort of labor job with farming (5).
Like many other things in Haiti the food market system in Haiti is very poor, Haiti does not produce enough food to meet it’s countries demand so they have a lot of food imported from other countries like the US (6). With all of the marketing and not meeting the demand most people don’t get the nutrition they need (6). A major barrier is that their production of some crops has greatly decreased compared to their usual productivity, for example in 1999 they only produced 28,000 tons of coffee compared to how much they made in previous years like in 1962 they produced 43,600 tons of coffee (5). The main staple for Haitians is rice but the production only meets 20 percent of the demand (5). Another major problem in Haiti is that their government is corrupted so it’s more difficult for the government to focus on other problems like repairing damaged infrastructure and addressing public health concerns (4). The earthquake of 2010 was also a big obstacle for the Haitians and the Haiti government to face, there was 300,000 deaths from the earthquake (4). Not only this but apart from all of the occurences about 80 percent of all Haitians live in poverty, another problem that the government has to do something about (4). Many more problems have occured like high unemployment, political instability, and inefficient state enterprises but the earthquake debt has been taken care of (4).
For this country I decided to choose factor 6 sustainable agriculture. In Haiti they rely a lot on their agriculture to not only feed its people but also as it’s main economy, they get most of their money from cash crops. The problem is that the country can’t meet the demand because their agriculture is not very stable. This also affects their citizens greatly with a annual income averaging at $1,800 which is not very much to sustain a family and all its needs. With most of the country in poverty, unable to meet all it’s demands and a high amount of children suffering from acute malnutrition, as well as one third of women and children are anemic. Many people are having to live off of $2 or less as 10 percent of the richest Haitians have 70 percent of the countries income.
With all of these conditions, a lot family suffer from malnourishment as well as a very low income to support a family. Their main economy is agriculture yet only 30 percent of their territory is considered suitable for cultivation and only 10 percent of the crops are irrigated, worsening the conditions that they have to bare. Over the years these conditions have just gotten worse, production of crops has slowed down, the government is corrupted, and an earthquake took place which really damaged a lot and killed many people, who knows if it will improve anytime soon. If the government wasn’t so corrupted than the government could focus on other problems like helping its people and lowering poverty and unemployment rates, this should be the first step to bettering the country.
If this factor were to somehow improve then the amount of food being produced may start meeting the demand if not at least getting closer to it as well as their economy would also see some improvement. If the economy were to improve then that means that families would also start earning more money, the health of the people would also raise making people more healthy lowering infant mortality rate and also improving the life expectancy. Many people would also get out of poverty, we might also see some urbanization around the country meaning more job opportunities for the country and for farmers if it were to improve then they could feed their people better meeting the demands and boosting the economy with cash crops being imported out of the country for profit.
Women’s life could also improve substantially with more job opportunities they won’t have to work in farms and earn more in other jobs to feed their families. Many other things would also better if the economy in Haiti had a boost and started earning more money, they government could start implementing more power around the country to make people’s lives better one energy source that could also help the pollution is using organic waste from the people and turning that into power. With the water problem they could use hydroponics to clean their water, and if some scientists were to genetically modify these plants used in hydroponics the people could eat them as well.
For the pollution problem they could build some places to put all of their trash so that it doesn’t pollute their water supply and other things. All of this improvement would better people’s life so that the population can grow and the country be more sanitary, that way families can lead more normal lives. From what I have seen and researched some ways to improve the food scarcity first if the people start irrigating their crops better instead of relying fully on rain they could also use water systems. Other things are to utilize fertilizer more efficiently. A lot of produce also goes to waste so if they used better food storages then the food that before laid to waste could now instead be consumed because of improved preservation.
With improve of technology the production and harvest of the crops both for consumption and also cash crops would be faster and more efficient, this way they can meet the demand and maybe even exceed it. Investing in improving this technology to better farm I feel would be one of the best options to reduce the malnourishment of the people and make the economy superior to its current state. If the people of Haiti stood up for a lot of these things maybe they could create some change along with improving and fixing their government. That is one of the biggest obstacles to all of this, fixing the government, without that a lot of the things above could not happen if the government can’t even focus on its people.
More protesting might lead to more change. The citizens could also help each other in many ways like 2 families living in one household so that the rent is split in half leaving both families with more money to save up. If people worked together they could make a change for the better. Maybe now Haiti is a small and poor country but who knows maybe in 10, 20 or 30 years it will be a whole other country. No matter how minimal they seem, every one of the steps we take could lead to some improvement.