Haiti and agriculture

Michael Roberts points out that one, U.S. import quotas support a domestic price well above the world price (see below), and two, the Dominican Republic's U.S. sugar import quota is twenty times that of Haiti.

I remember first reading about the stark gap (economic, political, and environmental) between the Dominican Republic and Haiti in Jared Diamond's Collapse; there are obviously a host of causes that go far beyond U.S. policy. Here is a satellite photo of the Haiti-DR border; note the severe deforestation on the Haitian (left) side.

Tyler Cowen suggests that the Haitian quota be repealed in the light of Haiti's recent tragedy. I agree with Michael that the impact now is likely small - what would have really mattered would have been lifting the quota fifty years ago.

In other Haiti news, Roger Thurow laments that the agricultural component of Haiti's recovery aid is being largely ignored
The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization says its part of the appeal - $23 million to help revive Haiti’s food production – is being largely ignored. Only 8% has been funded.
Hopefully the recent return to prominence of agriculture on the broader aid scene will facilitate this being remedied by the time the Haitian growing season starts in March,

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