Originally: Les paysans et le secteur agricole dans le plan de sauvetage national
The peasants represent more than 60 percent of the population ? 70 percent of the active population. Despite this high percentage, they only produce 40 percent of the food consumed by the population.
The country is seriously dependent on food imports. We import more than US$380 million in food. This represents more than 80 percent of our exports.
We only produce 20 percent of the rice that we consume, estimated at 450,000 metric tons.
We have lost our food sovereignty and our customary diet. There is no national sovereignty without food sovereignty.
Agricultural production continues to fall with our poor land tenure which leads to a catastrophic degradation of the environment.
We cut down more than 50 million trees a year. Today there are hardly any trees left in the country, a country of which 75 percent is mountains. We have less than 2 percent vegetal cover. This transforms the country into two seasons: dry and hurricane. The existence of the country is in danger.
We have more than 36 million tons of soil that empties into the sea each year.
What Is to Be Done?
- A thorough land reform. The land to the peasants who work it. Agricultural credits, long-term and low-interest. Extension services, subsidies, guaranteed markets, insurance, etc.
- A national soil-conservation and reforestation program. Make reforestation a priority that is supported by all the sectors. The Peasants? Movement of Papaye proposes a program of US$1.00 per month for a fruit-bearing tree.
- A national program of alternative energy: solar, geothermal, hydraulic, etc.
- Subsidy of propane gas
- Job-creation in the rural areas in the construction of ponds, irrigation canals, farm roads, fish farms, etc.
To make these things possible, we must change the predatory state. Changing it will require serious unity among the social forces that want to save the country. It is essential that the social movement make a plan. It is essential to have unity between the forces within the country and in the diaspora.
It is essential to resist the “presidential disease,” the craving for power.