Last August, just before Hurricane Fay smashed into Haiti, I spent the day with MOREPLA (Mouvman Revandikatif Peyizan Latibonit-Peasant Movement for Justice in the Artibonite), a local movement of rice producers that works with the coalition of Grassroots International’s partner PAPDA (The Haitian Platform to Advocate Alternative Development). Leaders from MOREPLA explained to me that rice producers in the Artibonite potentially could have the capacity to provide livelihoods for more than 200,000 people in a department (state) that suffers a 78% unemployment rate. While they focus on advocacy for food sovereignty through rice, they see their work as a part of the bigger struggle for Haitian human rights through self-determination.
MOREPLA also produces rice richer in nutrients than imported white rice. In fact, the lack of nutritional value associated with processed white rice is the subject of a campaign led by the British solidarity organization, the Haiti Support Group, which is calling on the United Nations World Food Program to stop distributing the bleached grain. To read more, click here.