Since 1981 the United States has followed a policy until the last year or so … that we rich countries that produce a lot of food should sell it to poor countries and relieve them of the burden of producing their own food, so thank goodness they can leap directly into the industrial era. It has not worked … it was a mistake.
—Bill Clinton, to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, March 10, 2010
Haiti was once a rich, powerful country that supplied a quarter of France’s wealth and was food self-sufficient until the early 1980s. How, over the last 30 years, did its agricultural system collapse so that the country became dependent on aid to feed itself? And can it grow its way out of this earthquake-deepened hole?
Two young filmmakers would like to make a documentary, to be called Hands That Feed, that will explore “the decline of Haiti’s rural economy, environmental degradation, mass migration to cities, and the build-up of fragile shanty-towns” that led to the crisis, as well as talk to a group of Haitian youths who’re determined to help their country become self-sufficient once again, on a foundation of sustainable agriculture.
They are at the halfway point toward raising the $15,000 they need for a two-week filming trip via Kickstarter, the website for small-scale, community-based fundraising.
Check it out: