OAS urges Haiti to boost agricultural production

WASHINGTON, United States, April 29, 2008 – The Organisation of American States (OAS) has presented proposals and offered ideas for assistance to help Haiti tackle its food crisis, at the same time suggesting that the country get back to agriculture to help feed its citizens.

OAS Secretary-General José Miguel Insulza who led a high-level mission to the Caribbean’s poorest country, did not expand on the proposals, but said the crisis now presents an opportunity for Haiti to expand its agriculture to return to producing rice and other food items for the local market.

He said if enough was produced, the country could also possibly export to the international market.

Mr Insulza said during the visit, his delegation offered President Rene Préval their “total solidarity and support to help the country overcome the recent situation that stemmed from food shortage which affected Haitians”.

In a review of the overall situation in Haiti, the OAS head agreed that the Préval government had made significant strides in bringing about democratic stability nationwide, and said that aid coordination was vital to solving the underlying economic problems.

He said the OAS was keen on hearing suggestions as to the kind of assistance Haiti needs in order to tackle those problems.

During his visit to Haiti, Mr Insulza met with Mr Préval and other political leaders, as well as community and business leaders, to offer the support as representatives of the Group of Friends of Haiti. 

The mission comprised representatives of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the United States as well as the European Union and the United Nations.