Political Upheaval in Haiti Could Impact Rice Growers
What does the political upheaval in Haiti have to do with Acadiana? Many regions of America, supply a tremendous amount of rice to the country of Haiti. With a political assassination in the country, unrest, and gangs, Congressman Clay Higgins of Lafayette says it is imperative for the American government to ensure that our product gets to the people purchasing it in Haiti.
Congressman Clay Higgins says he has sent an official letter to the U.S. State Department asking for help. If our shipments of rice are being highjacked at the docks is a crisis for everyone involved. Local gangs are stealing the produce, he says, plain and simple. Is a food crisis for the country going to follow next?
Haiti is the top market for U.S.-grown milled rice and has been a loyal and growing market for many years, and the people of Haiti have a strong demand for our product.
Think about this statistic; the U.S. has ships 450,000 metric tons of rice to Haiti on an annual basis. If the even armed security teams can't help to ensure that the rice is making it to the people who have purchased it, the instability only continues to grow for the country.
Higgin says there are multiple reasons for instability that continue to wreak havoc on Haiti including the following:
- Haitian government officials failing to enforce laws
- Natural disasters
- Political instability
Bobby Hanks, Louisiana grower and Chairman of USA Rice says,
Without something changing, like intervention by the UN or some sort of physical support to bring peace to the nation, Haiti will have trouble recovering from this situation.
Higgins' letter was sent to the State Department's Acting Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Lisa Peterson. Other food shipments are also being stolen via gang-related activity.
The President of Haiti, Jovenel Moise, was assassinated in his home Wednesday.