Haitian Perspectives: Opportunities in Agriculture
When SOIL employee Joasil “Tidou” Lucny and I sit down together once a week, he patiently teaches me Haitian Creole and I help him to improve his English. He told me that he dreams of becoming an agronomist, so I asked him if he would like to write about the topic below to share with our followers, and he was very happy to share his experience and insights!
“How did you begin working in agriculture and why do you think that agriculture is important for young people in Haiti?”
I feel at ease in writing about this subject because it is my area of expertise. Since I was born, my parents have practiced agriculture, so as I grew up, I began to do it as well. Every day I helped my parents in the garden, doing things such as weeding and clearing the land, sowing seeds, and harvesting the produce. I saw that gardening is a good thing.
When I entered school, I started to study the subject of agriculture, especially through science experiments in primary school. I started to understand what agriculture is and how it is important for the Haitian youth. As young people, we are stronger than older people and we see the country’s future in another perspective.
For me personally, when I analyze my country Haiti, and when I compare it with other countries in the world, I see a big difference. This difference is in the gross national product (GNP) and to talk about GNP, you cannot forget agriculture. Haiti is facing a lot of problems because the government neglects agriculture.
I think that if we are to think about change, we should turn to face our issues with agriculture, remembering that no change is possible without the youth. Agriculture is the tool for change when I make a comparison between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The DR has developed through agriculture, but they exploit Haitian labor. Haitians who go to the DR to work in agriculture have very poor working conditions.
If we hope for development, young Haitian people should take interest in agriculture; I think it is the first tool of development. When I think about it, I see it is very important for the Haitian youth to work in agriculture to find the best way to develop. Organizations like SOIL provide opportunities for Haitians to work in Haiti with much better conditions than they would have in the DR.