Last week the FAO announced its worry that immediate agriculture needs were not being adequately funded, there is also evidence of rising prices for basic foods such as rice. Following up on these reports, Inter-Press Service reports today on the likelihood of an emerging food crisis in post-earthquake Haiti:
“Everybody needs to understand the need to act right now, otherwise the planting season will be lost,” Geri Benoit, Haiti’s ambassador to Italy and the Rome-based UN food agencies, told IPS.
IPS reports that is not just the FAO but NGOs on the ground sounding the alarm:
“Food could become the next catastrophe,” says anti-poverty NGO ActionAid. “People affected by the earthquake leaving urban areas, a forthcoming food price hike and a long-term underinvestment in rural areas and agriculture could all spell disaster again.”
The benefits of investing in agriculture are immense, as IPS reports:One dollar invested in agriculture will produce 40 to 60 dollars worth of food in Haiti, FAO estimates.On the other hand, the consequences of not doing enough are enormous, as Beniot told IPS:“you miss the planting season and for us this means you lose 60 percent of food production.”
Centre for Economic Research and Policy Research